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The Sustrans’ Connect2 scheme garnered 42 percent of the 286,285 votes entered by members of the public for the winner-takes-all Big Lottery Fund beauty contest.
This was the biggest-ever UK Lottery grant awarded by public vote.
Funding will be transferred to Sustrans for the scheme over the course of five years, starting in 2008. The Connect2 project will cost a total £140 million, of which £50 million will be Lottery money, with the rest being match-funded from other sources.
Announcing the winner, Sir Clive Booth, chair of the Big Lottery Fund which distributes Lottery grant money, said the Sustrans project had won nearly half of all the votes cast.
“It really won hands-down. What did it was that public support was terrific. Given there were four projects, getting half the vote was a big achievement. I think it has captured people’s imaginations because it is going to affect their lives right across the UK.”
John Grimshaw of Sustrans said:
“This is fantastic news, and thanks to everyone who voted for Sustrans’ Connect2 in the People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway, and for your help in winning £50 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund for Sustrans to invest in walking and cycling UK-wide. This really is an amazing achievement for our charity and the many local authority and other partners with whom we will work on Connect2. We simply couldn’t have done it without you and your votes.”