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Young performers have a ball thanks to lottery funding

PUBLISHED: 12:20 04 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:55 07 September 2010

A GIANT lottery ball has been putting visitors to the Roundhouse in a spin after appearing in the arts venue's entrance hall. The big blue ball has become the Chalk Farm complex's newest attraction after being installed last Thursday

Josie Hinton

A GIANT lottery ball has been putting visitors to the Roundhouse in a spin after appearing in the arts venue's entrance hall.

The big blue ball has become the Chalk Farm complex's newest attraction after being installed last Thursday.

Some have stood perplexed, looking up at the strange sphere with the number 11 marked on it.

It represents the 11,000 young people who have benefited from projects at the Roundhouse Studios, which opened in July 2006 thanks to Lottery funding.

Visitor Anna Strauch, 24, from Camden Town, said: "It's great to see money being spent on the arts.

"New artists need support and funding, which is not always easy to find."

Helen Rogers, 30, said: "I'm a structural engineer and a lot of projects I work on owe a lot to Lottery grants - so I think the whole thing is absolutely fantastic."

But others were not so enthusiastic on hearing the significance of the 6x6ft ball hanging from the ceiling.

Colin Noble, 54, an educational adviser from Primrose Hill, said: "I think the lottery is a way for the government to avoid direct taxation while making people think they've got a choice.

"In reality, what happens is the working classes gamble and lose while the middle-classes see their hobbies subsidised."

The giant ball is one of 10 which appeared across the capital last week to show Londoners where Lottery funding is being spent.

In the past year, London has benefited from more than £172million in lottery grants while £25million has been raised every week since the lottery started in 1994.

Twenty-eight pence from every pound spent on the lottery goes to funding causes such as the Roundhouse Studios.

The studios offer courses, events and mentoring in the arts for 13 to 25-year-olds and give young people access to state-of-the-art equipment and performance space.

The Roundhouse said it was grateful for the support it had received through people playing the Lottery as well as other sources.

A spokeswoman said: "The National Lottery has supported the Roundhouse - both the redevelopment of the building and the creative projects for young people - through the Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund."

Katy Hemmings, from The National Lottery, added: "We hope that that all the giant lottery balls across the capital will help raise awareness of just how much London has benefited from funding.

"The aim is to bring projects like the Roundhouse to life and to highlight how many local initiatives and services are made possible thanks to the money raised by Lottery players."

o For more information on Lottery-funded projects across the capital or details on how to apply for funding, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk.

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk

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