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18th November 2021

Today, The National Lottery is celebrating its 27th birthday by asking the nation what is most important to them in their communities.

A host of famous faces, including Alexandra Burke, Sir Chris Hoy, Nadine Coyle and Liam Reardon, have teamed up with The National Lottery to unveil four striking installations across London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Antrim to inspire and spark positive change in our communities.

Each installation is made up of more than 636 National Lottery balls to represent the 636,000 projects that have been supported over the last 27 years. Taking over 500 hours to produce, the anamorphic artworks unveil the words BUILD DREAMS CREATE CHANGE in well-known locations across the UK.

The National Lottery has polled 2000 adults, to reveal what people value in their local communities, what changes they would like to see and what their hopes and dreams are for 2022.

A woman (Alexandra Burke) photographed in the CHANGE installation of Trafalgar Square in London, England.
Alexandra Burke photographed in the CHANGE installation of Trafalgar Square in London, England.

The National Lottery has teamed up with singer and actress Alexandra Burke, Love Island winner Liam Reardon, Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy and Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle to unveil four new striking installations across the UK, to inspire change and encourage communities to think about how they might use some of the £30million raised for good causes each week.

The anamorphic artworks, created by leading arts collective Greyworld and inspired by National Lottery funded projects, showcase four words via an explosion of National Lottery balls. The words BUILD, DREAMS, CREATE, CHANGE bring to life the results that can be achieved through National Lottery funding.

A picture of the CHANGE installation at Trafalgar Square in London, England.
Alexandra Burke photographed in the CHANGE installation of Trafalgar Square in London, England.

Each installation has been made from more than 636 National Lottery balls, which represent the 636,000 and more organisations that benefit from the funding across the sports, art, heritage and community sectors – from the Olympic Medals to Stonehenge, to local sports clubs and community theatre groups.

Singer and actress Alexandra Burke, who unveiled ‘Change’ in London’s Trafalgar Square, said: “What I love about working in music and performing arts is its ability to connect people and to inspire creativity as we push boundaries together. The National Lottery really gives so many venues, productions, and artists around the UK the ability to stage the events and performances we love - and have missed - so much.

“I’ve been lucky enough to experience first-hand this impact, having performed at places like the amazing Union Chapel in my hometown in Islington, which has received National Lottery funding over the years. I find it so inspiring how the funding also goes to smaller organisations where these grants make life-changing differences. If we can continue to support and protect our community, we will be able to future-proof it for generations to come and make so many dreams a reality.”

A woman (Alexandra Burke) photographed in the CHANGE installation of Trafalgar Square in London, England.
Alexandra Burke photographed in the CHANGE installation of Trafalgar Square in London, England.

The installation unveiling comes as new research out today reveals that community gardens, independent shops and exhibitions are some of things people in the UK want to see more of in their local communities.

In the research, people revealed that their hopes and dreams for their local communities in 2022 included having more mental health support groups, being able to afford improvements to places and spaces that matter, and for more entertainment facilities. Among the things currently valued in their communities were walking/hiking trails, parks, and public transport. However, people would also like to see more wellbeing centres, libraries and beehouses.

The research revealed that people last saw improvements in their neighbourhood an average of 17 months ago, and 46 per cent claim they aren’t made regularly enough. When it comes to what communities believe currently needs improving, almost 20 per cent said their community needs a friendlier neighbourhood and 16 per cent want more social schemes and venues, with almost 50 per cent saying that they’re now more interested in their community since the pandemic.

Half of those polled believe improvements to their community would result in a happier atmosphere, however the research also found that 41 per cent have noticed enhancements over the past decade, including more community events, green spaces and sports clubs – all areas that National Lottery funding supports.

A woman (Alexandra Burke) photographed in the CHANGE installation of Trafalgar Square in London, England.
Alexandra Burke photographed in the CHANGE installation of Trafalgar Square in London, England.

For 27 years National Lottery funding has been transforming communities, turning dreams into reality and making life better for millions of people. As we emerge from what has been a des-perately challenging time, we want to inject hope and encourage communities to imagine what they could achieve with a helping hand from The National Lottery. With £30million raised for good causes each week, we have grants available from £3,000 to £5million. By coming togeth-er as communities, and as a nation, we can build, dream and create to change our future for the better and for generations to come.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum

Research continued to reveal that we are in fact a nation of community heroes thanks to the pandemic, with 39 per cent saying they now take part in activities that make a positive impact in their local area. Almost 30 per cent of people now actively think how they can make a difference in their community. And 24 per cent are personally involved in roles within their community, including being part of the neighbourhood watch, running a social media group and helping out with sports and church events.

The installations across the UK will be available to view from 15th
November in Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 16th November in Antrim Castle Garden, Antrim, 17th November in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff and 18th November in Trafalgar Square, London.

To find out more about National Lottery funding go to

Notes to editors

For further campaign information, please contact Sally Greenwood, 077911 06825

Pictures and video content showcasing the new installations and celebrity appearances can be found here.

Consumer research was conducted with 2,000 respondents in November 2021 by One Poll

The Lottery balls used in each installation are made from aluminium, foam and steel cable, and will all be reused. The balls will go to two schools in East London for art supplies and sports equipment, and the truss will be used for live performance.

Talent Quotes:

World and Olympic Champion Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy
, who unveiled ‘Build’ in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden, said: “My personal Olympic dreams were made possible by the outstanding funding provided by The National Lottery, which has completely transformed British sport over the last two decades. I am so proud to be taking part in this exciting campaign and have the opportunity to celebrate all the things that National Lottery players continue to make possible.”

Former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle
, who unveiled ‘Dreams’ in Antrim Castle Gardens said: “Performing at venues around the UK throughout my career, I was able to really experience the impactful changes The National Lottery funding can create for so many individuals and organisations in the music industry. The Arts have always had the ability to connect you with people, to give you confidence and to nurture your creativity. And so, celebrating this funding that identifies and supports local community projects to inspire and include future generations is something that is very close to my heart.”

Love Island 2021 winner Liam Reardon said
: “I have been so inspired to learn about the unbelievable impact The National Lottery funding provides for so many communities and projects around the UK. Many local organisations like Street Football Wales have used the funding to help provide open, inclusive and safe environments to play sport, make friends, and build self-confidence. Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my own local boxing ring and this is just the type of place that I know could also benefit so much from The National Lottery’s incredible funding – giving people the chance to come together, build dreams and create real change for themselves and their wider communities.”

Installation details as follows:

Scotland: 15th – 21st November: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Northern Ireland: 16th– 22nd November: Antrim Castle Gardens, Antrim

Wales: 17th – 23rd November: Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

London: 18th November: Trafalgar Square, London

Top 20 things people would like to see more of in their community:

Independent shops
Free car parking
Green spaces
Recycling bins
High street chain shops
Public bins
Public transport
Walking / hiking trails
Healthcare facilities
Wellbeing drop-in centres/clubs e.g. for lonely people
Community gardens
Music events        
Safe road crossings    
Cycle paths

Top 10 changes people dream of for 2022:

To have cleaner streets
To be able to afford improvements for the places and spaces that matter
To have more support groups
To have more entertainment facilities/venues e.g. cinemas, theatres
To build strong relationships in and across the community
To be more creative/colourful
To be more sociable e.g. street parties, fetes
To have community gardens
To have more organisations dedicated to helping disabled people
To have better cycle paths

About the National Lottery

National Lottery players raise more than £30 million every week for good causes.
Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £43billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community
Since 1994, The National Lottery has awarded over 636,000 individual grants across the UK.
The majority (70 per cent) of National Lottery grants are for £10,000 or less, helping small projects make a big difference in their community! 
For more information, please visit https://www.lotterygoodcauses....