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Call the midwife star celebrates millions in National Lottery funding for Coventry 2021

7th March 2019

Midlands’s actress Helen George celebrates National Lottery funding for Coventry City of Culture 2021.

With just two years to go until Coventry becomes the UK City of Culture in 2021, Call the Midwife star, Helen George, paid a visit to the Herbert Gallery to celebrate the £5.2 million in National Lottery funding that will be invested in the city.

The funding is made up of £5 million from National Lottery distributor Arts Council England, and £200,000 from National Lottery funding body The Sprit of 2012 Trust.

Further funding discussions are at an advanced stage with other National Lottery distributors, including The National Lottery Heritage Fund who supported Hull as City of Culture with a grant of £3 million.

Speaking alongside Helen was Laura McMillan, Director of Operations and Legacy at the Coventry City of Culture Trust, along with local arts performers- young dancers from Godiva Academy of Performing Arts (GAPA) and classical Indian dancer Lakshmi Srinivasan, who showcased short performances at the event.

classical Indian dancer Lakshmi Srinivasan

Dancer Lakshmi has performed in a National Lottery funded piece and at a number of National Lottery funded venues; she is an excellent example from the £150 million in National Lottery funding that has supported good causes in Coventry, since the National Lottery began in 1994.

This year marks the 25th Birthday of the National Lottery. Over the past quarter of a century, the lives of ordinary people have been transformed in Coventry, thanks to the £150 million in National Lottery funding invested in arts, heritage, community and sports projects in the city.

Following the funding announcement for Coventry, Helen had exciting news for the city- a call for local projects to enter the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards; the search for the UK’s favourite ever National Lottery-funded projects.

Helen George with the National Lottery Award

Helen said:

“As a Midlander, I’m thrilled to celebrate the National Lottery funding that will be invested into Coventry City of Culture 2021. I have many happy memories of Coventry, and I’m excited for the future of the city.

“National Lottery players should feel proud of the life-changing difference buying tickets has made to Coventry; from the refurbishment of the Herbert Gallery where we are today, to upcoming events such as UK City of Culture 2021. From Monday, the National Lottery is calling on any of good causes who have ever received funding to enter the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards.”

Laura McMillan

Laura McMillan, said:

“Being UK City of Culture in 2021 allows the city to take centre stage and show the world all that Coventry has to offer. We are delighted that National Lottery funding will be invested in the cultural programme.

“The funding not only allows us to create an incredible year, it also ensures we are a force for change in the city and leave a lasting positive legacy.”

You can enter your favourite project in this year’s National Lottery Awards from 11 March onwards. Tweet @LottoGoodCauses with your suggestions or complete an entry form through our website Entries must be received by midnight on 30 April 2019.

To thank National Lottery players for the massive difference funding has made – and continues to make – to lives of people across the UK, The National Lottery is working on a range of plans in the run-up to the 25th Birthday in November. Further details will be announced in due course.

Notes to editors

The National Lottery will be making further funding announcements in the lead up to 2021

Follow the campaign on twitter: #CultureinCov and also use #ThisIsCoventry

Projects that are nominated for The 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards must complete the entry form

Shortlisted projects will compete in one round of public voting later in 2019 to determine the winner. All voting will be independently verified

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £39 billion for projects and over 535,000 grants have been awarded across the UK

For more information about projects funded by The National Lottery or The National Lottery Awards visit and follow the campaign on Twitter: @LottoGoodCauses #NLAwards

For further information please contact:

Nicola Bligh at the National Lottery Promotions Unit on 0207 211 3991 or email