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You may not live in Britain, but you could help us win $100m to transform 79 communities across the UK. The BIG Lottery Fund has unveiled the final shortlist for the People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway. The contest will be a public vote which will see one project of national importance win a grant of £50m. The Sustrans Connect2 project is the only national project out of four finalists.
Sustrans stands a stunningly good chance against what are worthy but highly localised projects. Sign up on the Connect2 website to be reminded to vote online from November 26th onwards.
THE EDEN PROJECT - THE EDGE
Cornwall’s biggest tourist attraction wants to become even more of a draw – for car tourists and coach trips – with a new climate change exposition. Is there not a big disconnect there somewhere?
PROS: The Eden Project has some nice flowers and a few bike stands.
CONS: Not national. Plus, cop a load of this: “One of [Edge's] chambers will be built out of loud speakers. Audio recordings in every one of the earth’s languages on the subject of love will be played simultaneously. The point…is to create a human song.”
SHERWOOD FOREST: THE LIVING LEGEND
Nottinghamshire’s finest famous forest wasn’t good enough for the latest BBC TV Robin Hood (that’s shot in Hungary) and visitor numbers are falling. So, to preserve the forest, The Living Legend wants to attract more car tourists and coach trips. There are 400,000 visitors right now, the Living Legend wants to double that.
PROS: The scheme proposes 95km of new cycling and walking routes.
CONS: Not national. Most of the visitors will arrive in cars and while some of these may disgorge bikes, it’s still a lot of extra car trips.
BLACK COUNTRY URBAN PARK
Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell are deprived areas of the Black Country and could be helped by economic regeneration. Economic regeneration equals lots of extra car trips.
PROS: Waterways and green spaces will be spruced up
CONS: Not national. What’s the betting there are some supermarkets slavvering to be part of the ‘economic regeneration’ plans?
SUSTRANS - CONNECT2
By building footpaths, cycle paths and bridges, Sustrans wants to get people out of their cars and on their feet or on to bikes. Disconnected communities across the UK will be reconnected, leading to more bike trips and fitter local people.
PROS: What’s not to like? Plus, the project is national, you know, like National Lottery. It’s not Cornwall Lottery or Nottinghamshire Lottery.
CONS: Lorraine Kelly will be the TV champion for the scheme.