Where does lottery money go?

Lynne Featherstone at Alexandra Palace Park playgroundWent out after surgery yesterday to visit two of the local projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

First off – the makeover for Alexandra Palace Park – where there is a real transformation. Now we have views along the axis – like a mini (very mini) Champs Elysees. Landscaping and renewal around the rose garden. The children’s playground is now a delight and the views no longer screened by scary clumps of growth where mothers with toddlers used to fear strangers might lurk. The skate part and the graffiti wall are doing just fine. The fishing decks and revamp of the cafe make an afternoon or morning boating or walking, playing or fishing a delight. It was really great to see the park blossoming and fulfilling its potential in a way that it always should have – but never did.

Thank you Lottery Fund! And thanks too to the staff whose enthusiasm and commitment have seen it through from concept to completion.

The second of our visits was to the George Padmore Institute in Stroud Green. This was a treasure where the history of one man’s vision and drive (John Le Rose) led to the birth of the fight for rights in black education and arts. Black history is now far more to the fore – but this is the man who drove the agenda forward and somehow knew the path to force intellectual, cultural and artistic change. Lottery funds have and are supporting the archiving of the documents that give testimony to this history. This was a real treat of a visit – and thank goodness for the funding for without it such important and transforming history might not be preserved and archived.