MP Sammy Wilson has welcomed £5.3 million in National Lottery Funding for 657 projects in East Antrim over the last 20 years.
While he views the lottery as “a regressive tax being funded mostly from people on low incomes”, Mr Wilson said if the money was being paid by those who purchased Lottery tickets then he wants to see as much as possible coming to help worthwhile projects in the constituency.
“I know that in many areas the Big Lottery Funding has been of immense benefit to communities and has led to an increase in interest by local people in participating in community events,” he added.
A wide range of groups from youth clubs, primary schools, adult centres, sea cadets, Orange lodges, residents associations, football clubs, Ulster Scots groups, sports clubs, community associations, woman’s institutes, playgroups and senior citizens clubs have benefited from lottery funding locally.
Mr Wilson said: “At a time when public funding is under pressure, many groups are turning to the Big Lottery as a way of obtaining some of the finance they require for the activities they wish to promote.”