Our borough’s £20m heritage lottery gains

An Autumn scene at Mesnes Park, Wigan
An Autumn scene at Mesnes Park, Wigan

It’s the National Lottery’s 25th birthday this week and in that quarter century more than £40bn has been raised for good causes – including over £20m for Wigan’s heritage.

Since the first National Lottery draw on November 19 1994, money from every ticket sold has been invested in good causes across the UK, in the areas of arts, sport, community and heritage.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund distributes funding to heritage projects. In Wigan, money raised by Lottery players has given a number of boosts to borough heritage, including:

Revealing the historical background of Wigan Warriors Rugby Club and its players during the period of the First World War;

Conserving and protecting Lightshaw Meadows, part of a series of wetlands between Wigan and Leigh, called the Wigan Flashes that was formed as a result of mining subsidence and is an important legacy of the area’s industrial past;

Breathing life back into the historic buildings of the town centre, including the Grade II-listed former Victoria hotel on Wallgate;

The £6m renaissance of Wigan’s Mesnes Park;

Since 1994 across the UK The Heritage Fund has invested £1.6bn in landscapes and nature, including more than £950m in public parks and cemeteries; £900m in places of worship; £2.4bn to more than 1,200 museums and galleries; and £115m into community heritage.

Heritage Fund northern director David Renwick said: “It’s the National Lottery’s 25th birthday and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the impact of National Lottery funding across the UK and in Wigan.

"From saving historic buildings and helping nature to thrive to celebrating our diverse cultures and shared stories, there is so much that quite simply would not be possible without National Lottery players.”