CHARITY and voluntary groups from across Halton let their hair down at an event marking 10 years of National Lottery funding for projects in the borough.
In the past decade a staggering £20m has gone to the groups across the borough and Lottery funding now stands as a key source of funding towards major projects such as the Kingsway Learning Centre and The Brindley arts centre in Runcorn which received grants of £1m and £6m respectively.
Other schemes to receive a slice of the cash include the Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Group for an information and advice service and the Halton YMCA Y's Up project which gives advice to young people.
Lottery grants already in the pipeline include a £1.6m cash injection for the restoration of Victoria Park, Widnes, and a £464,000 grant which will go towards nature conservation in Widnes and Runcorn.
Also present at the event, which took place on Thursday, were members of the West Bank History Project which received a £37,000 grant from the Lottery, and HITS, which has gained £24,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme which encourages young people to learn about the history of the borough by meeting elderly residents.
Community group Galligu was also represented at the National Lottery fund party. The group has received £42,000 for a project - dubbed Smoking Dragons - which looks at Halton's industrial heritage through art and storytelling.
Councillor Dave Cargill, executive board member for European and regional affairs, said: 'One of the main areas in which Lottery funding is taken to task is the time-limited nature of its grants.
'But in Halton we have found that the Lottery distributors are often the first to take a risk in funding projects enabling applicants to draw in other sources.
'Lottery funding has made a significant contribution to regenerating areas and Halton has been no exception in benefiting from Lottery cash.'