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Finalists in the Best Arts Project category of The National Lottery Awards 2011 revealed

11 July 2011

Four organisations have been named as finalists in the arts category of The National Lottery Awards 2011, the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

The projects won enough votes from the public to beat off competition from all around the UK to reach the final stage of the competition. The four finalists in the Best Arts Project category are:

Inclusion Through Practice, Harlow
Run by Razed Roof, Inclusion Through Practice is an inclusive performing arts group for people with and without learning disabilities. Its members work together to put on shows and develop a wide range of skills. This project ran workshops for people with severe learning disabilities and others, leading up to putting on a specially adapted production of ‘Billy Elliot’.

mac birmingham
The new mac birmingham (Midlands Arts Centre) is a complete renovation of the old facility that was no longer fit for the 21st Century. The fully accessible arts centre is a makeover and substantial extension of the old building, combined with new facilities, and provides a welcoming and exciting place for people of all backgrounds and abilities to explore the arts.

Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds
Lottery funding was used to create a purpose-built centre for dance in Leeds that houses Northern Ballet, Phoenix Dance Theatre, their respective academies - which train in excess of 300 young people - and further and higher education students from local universities. The building has seven dance studios, a studio theatre, wardrobe facilities, a health suite, meeting rooms and offices.

The Smiling Sessions, London
The Smiling Sessions is a musical project where three musicians visit homes for the elderly to hold workshops to brighten residents’ days and encourage them to take part by singing and revisiting old musical skills

All the projects in the running have already received Lottery funding and the Awards celebrate how they have put that money to good use. The four finalists in the Best Arts Project category will go head-to-head in a public vote in September to decide a winner.

This year’s National Lottery Awards are supported by television presenter Julia Bradbury. She says: “It’s brilliant to see such an inspiring range of Lottery-funded projects - large and small - make it through to final stage of The National Lottery Awards. Lottery players raise £28 million a week for Good Causes and all of the finalists have shown how they’ve used their Lottery funding to make a real difference in their communities. Anyone that has ever played the Lottery should feel very proud to know their money has helped support fantastic projects such as these.”

There are seven categories in the Awards, which reflect the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health (in association with ivillage.co.uk), environment, education (in association with Best magazine) and voluntary/charity. There will be one winner in each category which will be decided by a final round of public voting in the autumn.

The winning project in each of the categories will receive national recognition at a star-studded event later this year, broadcast on BBC One, as well as a £2,000 cash prize, in addition to Lottery funding, to spend on their project. For more information on the Awards finalists visit: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards