Northern Ireland

National Lottery: Northern Ireland hits £1bn jackpot

The Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre was among the beneficiaries of National Lottery money
The Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre was among the beneficiaries of National Lottery money

The National Lottery is celebrating £1bn of investment in Northern Ireland since 1994.

Almost 20,000 projects have received National Lottery funding, including the Arts Council, Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sport NI.

Among the beneficiaries were the SS Nomadic, the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre and Belfast's Lyric Theatre.

More than £350m has been given to charities and projects working on health, education and the environment.

'Changed immeasurably'

The largest single award was £45m for the Odyssey in Belfast in 1997.

Joanne McDowell, of the Northern Ireland National Lottery Forum and Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said lottery players could be "proud of the role they have played in making a real difference in Northern Ireland".

"Northern Ireland's social, economic, cultural and physical landscape has changed immeasurably since 1994," she said.

"We are proud to have played our part by investing more than £1bn to improve communities, change lives and fund a better future.

"The National Lottery has helped ensure there is something relevant and local to everyone in the ever lengthening list of Lottery-funded projects.

"The scale and depth of our involvement and investment in Northern Ireland is now interwoven in the fabric of life here - in sport, in the arts, in heritage and in the community."

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