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Cardiff projects benefit from lottery funding

CARDIFF projects are among thousands of good causes throughout the UK to share in more than £1 billion awarded by the National Lottery during the last year to support people and projects cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the first anniversary of lockdown, new figures show that over £1.2 billion of good causes funding has been awarded by The National Lottery in the UK during the last year, providing a much-needed boost for the arts, heritage, sport and community/charity sector. The funding has helped protect the future of thousands of organisations across the UK during the last year.

In Cardiff, the Taking Flight Theatre, spearheaded by Canton-based development director Beth House and artistic director Elise Davison, was awarded a National Lottery grant of £146,837 from the Arts Council of Wales which has helped them give deaf and disabled people a creative avenue to go down during lockdown.

Launch of Taking Flight Deaf Youth Theatre, WMC, Cardiff, February 13th 2020. Natasha Hirst Photography.

Taking Flight is a theatre company making quality theatre with access at the heart and employing deaf and disabled creatives. It also runs Wales’s only youth theatre for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and, during lockdown, has made digital theatre for families to access for free.

Beth, whose project is the only youth theatre for deaf and disabled people in Wales, said: “National Lottery funding has been revolutionary and transformational for us. There’s now more of a creative case for making theatre for the most neglected audiences, which has been a really good thing and has opened people’s eyes to what it’s like if you can’t leave your home.”

Taking Flight Theatre is one of thousands of projects nationwide to have benefited from the £30 million raised by National Lottery players every week.

Eight of its 13 trustees are either deaf or disabled and the theatre, co-founded by Beth and Elise in 2008, has successfully brought the arts to a new, diverse audience through digital platforms.

Elsewhere in Cardiff, the Victorian Gothic mansion, Insole Court, has also received vital funding from The National Lottery in the last year.

The 165-year-old building used a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to open a second-hand bookshop, install picnic benches outside and reopen safely when restrictions allowed.

Insole Court represents a key cultural lifeline for people in Cardiff and director Gray Hill, 35, said: “We absolutely couldn’t do it without the support of The National Lottery and its players. We want to invite them – come and discover Insole Court.

“We want them to come and see what their contributions through The National Lottery mean, and the impact that has on the people of Cardiff and beyond.”

To find out more about how The National Lottery supports good causes throughout the UK, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk

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