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The National Lottery timeline

29 years of changing lives and making the UK a better place by raising over £48 billion for good causes. Here’s just a small snapshot of the amazing achievements that National Lottery players have helped create:


  1. Timeline

    The first National Lottery draw takes place

    19th November 1994

    The National Lottery is born. The first draw is hosted by Noel Edmonds after weeks of excitement and fanfare. The National Lottery was started to raise money for good causes across the UK


  1. The first grants...

    The first grants are awarded to projects across the UK! Among them are the Morecambe Brass Band who received National Lottery funding for new instruments and they are still going strong today


  1. Getty Images-167949320

    The Angel Rises...

    Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council receives £584,000 of National Lottery funding for a landmark sculpture. Antony Gormley creates the iconic Angel of the North.


  1. The Millennium era...

    With the largest ever National Lottery grant at that time, National Lottery players provided £600m for the Millennium Dome (London), Now the o2 Arena.

    The National Lottery also helped fund other key millennium projects like the Millennium Bridge (Newcastle / Gateshead) and the Wales Millennium Centre (Cardiff)!


  1. To infinity and beyond Leicester...

    The National Lottery boldly goes where it hadn’t before and awards £31.8 million towards the creation of the National Space Centre in Leicester


  1. The pride of Wales...

    The Millennium Stadium, the biggest stadium in Wales, opens thanks to £46.3 million of National Lottery funding. It’s now known as the Principality Stadium.


  1. The National Lottery gets a little Topsy Turvy…

    Mike Leigh’s musical drama, Topsy-Turvy, becomes the first National Lottery funded film to win an Oscar. It picked up two gongs for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup


  1. The Garden of Eden...

    17th March 2001

    The National Lottery funded Eden Project opens to the public! Thanks to National Lottery players, the biomes received over £56 million to become a new landmark for the South West


  1. We get artsy...

    The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea gets £5.9 million to be turned into an exciting and innovative contemporary arts venue.


  1. Sometimes it's about the little things...

    Waltham Forest Cricket Academy receives £16 of National Lottery funding to buy children’s cricket equipment, it’s one of our smallest ever grants


  1. The Cotswolds...

    £13m is awarded to the renaissance of the Cotswold Canals


  1. We set sail on our 200,000th grant...

    The 200,000th National Lottery grant is awarded to the Cutty Sark Trust for the Cutty Sark Conservation project


  1. The Watts...

    The Watts Gallery in Surrey is awarded £5.3 million to celebrate the work of Victorian-era painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts.


  1. The Helix...

    The National Lottery awards £25 Million towards the ambitious Helix Project which is now home to the iconic Kelpies.


  1. 300,000 is a magic number…

    We set sail again with our 300,000th grant, which is awarded to the National Museum Northern Ireland for the Titanic: Built in Belfast Exhibition


  1. Codebreakers…

    The home of the World War II code breakers Bletchley Park receives £5 million towards its restoration


  1. The Transporter Bridge gets a touch of the lottery…

    Middlesbrough’s iconic Transporter Bridge gets £2.7m to be transformed into a visitor experience

  2. New designs...

    National Lottery players help start The Design Museum's move across London to its new home in Kensington's cultural quarter.

    The museum joins other National Lottery funded museums in the area such as The Natural History Museum, The V&A London, and The Science Museum.


  1. It's coming home...

    National Lottery players help fund the FA's National Football Centre, also known as St George's Park. The facility is home to all 28 England National Football teams and helps develop the teams and coaches of tomorrow.


  1. A sporting nation unites…

    National Lottery players contributed an amazing £2.2 billion towards the sporting and cultural success of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. After the games, we celebrated in style with a victory parade!


  1. 400,000 and counting...

    Thanks to you, the 400,000th National Lottery grant was awarded to Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil, Myleene Klass was on hand to award them a special trophy


  1. Finding the National Treasures…

    The public decides that The Derry Walls are Northern Ireland’s National Treasure. £446,000 of Lottery funding helped engage people with the heritage of the Walled City and ensuring the walls are valued, protected and cherished for years to come. Actor Jimmy Nesbitt popped over to celebrate at the famous landmark


  1. National Lottery players finally return to their castle…

    The magnificent Lincoln Castle reopens following restoration work, helped by £12m of National Lottery funding


  1. Samba Style…

    National Lottery funded athletes and Para athletes storm to medal success in Rio – Team GB & NI and Paralympics GB & NI came second in the medals tables. You played a big part in their success!


  1. Half a million…

    We award our 500,000th grant to Ipswich 4 Families. The project provides support for local vulnerable families


  1. Supporting Scottish creativity...

    The National Lottery funded V&A Dundee opens. It’s Scotland’s first design museum


  1. 25 years of Magic Numbers...

    19th September

    2019 marks the 25th birthday of The National Lottery. To mark this, we'll be celebrating the extraordinary impact National Lottery players have had on the UK by contributing millions of pounds every week to good causes. Thank You for making the UK a better place