Johnny Vegas backs council’s library arts programme

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Johnny Vegas has thrown his weight behind a bid by St Helens Council’s Library Service to win the Arts category in this year’s The National Lottery Awards, with its Cultural Hubs – Arts in Libraries programme.

Cultural Hubs has beaten off stiff competition from over 600 organisations nationwide to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

Cultural Hubs is St Helens Council’s Arts In Libraries project. Funded through National Lottery money distributed through Arts Council England’s Grants For The Arts Fund, the project has enabled both established

professional and emerging arts companies, performers and artists from across the country to bring their talents to St Helens’ network of 13 libraries – steered by local community commissioning groups.

Winners of the seven National Lottery Awards categories will each get a £3,000 cash prize to spend on their project, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and an invitation to a star-studded glittering awards

ceremony in London, to be broadcast on BBC One in September.

The Cultural Hubs programme is attracting people of all ages through the doors of St Helens libraries with activities ranging from arts workshops to challenging drama performances. Examples include digital sessions, art installations and ballet.

Johnny Vegas said: “Cultural Hubs is a fantastic initiative that animates all the libraries in St Helens with fantastic arts performances and participation programmes.

“Historically the arts are often seen as something that is inaccessible to ordinary people, but Cultural Hubs is breaking down some of these barriers making the arts accessible to all.

“All communities need heart. Each enquiring mind needs a home. Libraries are a fundamental necessity and St Helens is turning the notion of what libraries are for on its head. Go and vote for Cultural Hubs in The National Lottery Awards.”

You can vote for Cultural Hubs for free online at or telephone 0844 836 9705 (charges apply) and follow the campaign on twitter: hashtag #NLAwards.

Voting runs until midnight on Wednesday, July 20.

There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.