Seven Stories wins National Lottery Award

Seven Stories wins National Lottery Award

The children's book centre Seven Stories has been voted best education project in the National Lottery Awards 2013.

The awards, given annually in categories including arts, education, environment, health and heritage, celebrate "the UK's favourite Lottery-funded projects" and are described as "a great way to highlight how that funding has changed the UK for the better".

Seven Stories was shortlisted for the award alongside six other ventures including the Lylac Ridge Animal Learning Centre in Wales and the Live & Learn outreach project run by National Museums Northern Ireland. A public vote then decided the winner. Seven Stories gets a £2,000 prize and will receive the award in September at a ceremony to be broadcast on BBC1.

Chief executive Kate Edwards called the award "fantastic" news. "We are very grateful to everyone who voted for us—to know we are so valued by friends, visitors and supporters from the Northeast and across the UK is thrilling," she said. Singer Mollie King of The Saturdays, who visited the charity to reveal its win, called Seven Stories "a brilliant success story".

The centre has received £660,000 in National Lottery funding from Arts Council England and £352,249 from the Heritage Lottery Fund across the eight years of its existence.

Earlier this year the charity faced a 13% cut to its income because of Newcastle City Council's proposal to cut its arts and culture budget by 100% by 2015/16.

However that cut has now been halved following the establishment of the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund, which will allow cultural organisations in the city to apply for grants towards core revenue costs of up to 50% of their original levels from 2015.