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23rd September 2019

Strictly Come Dancing star and TV presenter, Vick Hope, surprised international music centre, Sage Gateshead, with the news that they have been crowned the National Lottery’s Best Arts, Culture & Film Project in the UK.

Newcastle born TV and radio star, Vick Hope, was on hand to deliver the good news to the team after they won a public vote to land the prize in the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards. The awards are the annual search for the most popular National Lottery funded projects in the UK.

The Strictly and Disney channel star, who was brought up in Newcastle, announced Sage Gateshead’s victory on stage before a performance from music maestros GrooveTrain and Friends.

A short film featuring her visit to the project will be shown on BBC One in November as those behind the success will be honoured at a glittering awards ceremony.

Sage Gateshead is an international music centre and a staple of North East culture. It offers a diverse range of live music performances as well as music-making opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

With six grants from the National Lottery, Sage Gateshead was able to construct the building itself, as well as fund five new music teaching initiatives over the past five years.

Vick Hope said: “It was a delight to see one of the many wonderful live performances which the Sage routinely offers and a true privilege to deliver the award to such a worthy project. I think they took the surprise well!

“Coming from the area, Sage Gateshead is a venue which I am very familiar with, so it felt extra special to be the person to deliver the good news. I would encourage everyone to come and make the most of this stunning place.”

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director at Sage Gateshead, added: “We are delighted to be named Best Arts, Culture & Film Project in the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards. I would like to thank everyone who supported our campaign and voted for us.

“This means so much for everyone involved with Sage Gateshead. There is a huge family here and it means the world to us to be recognised by the National Lottery, whose funding helped build Sage Gateshead when we opened in 2004.”

The 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards are the annual search for the public’s favourite National Lottery funded projects and celebrate the inspirational people who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

Sage Gateshead will receive a £10,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded glittering awards ceremony to be broadcast on BBC One in November.

Notes to editors

Sage Gateshead has received six National Lottery grants since 2003 via Arts Council England, amounting to £940,000. This includes a £600,000 grant to assist the construction of the building.

All voting was independently adjudicated and verified by Electoral Reform Services.

To find out more about the positive impact playing The National Lottery has and 25th
birthday celebrations, please visit

· Pic Credit: Richard Kenworthy