Portballintrae’s The Coast Office needs your votes now!

Robin Ruddock and John Bustard from The Coast Office. The group are counting on the public's vote to help them win �50,000 in the Big Lottery Fund's People's Project
Robin Ruddock and John Bustard from The Coast Office. The group are counting on the public's vote to help them win �50,000 in the Big Lottery Fund's People's Project

The Coast Office in the heart of Portballintrae is in the running for National Lottery funding of £50,000 and they need the publics help to ensure it comes to the north coast.

The Big Lottery Fund, ITV and The National Lottery have teamed up to give the Northern Ireland public the chance to decide how up to £150,000 of National Lottery funding will make a difference in their local area.

The Big Lottery Fund wanted to celebrate some of the incredible projects it has funded and has worked with UTV to shortlist five projects across Northern Ireland – including The Coast Office.

The projects will compete for National Lottery funding to develop their work even further to improve the lives of people in their communities. The three with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000.

John Bustard from The Coast Office said: “The People’s Project invited the Coast Office to add to our previous project, which was to build a village boat (Drontheim) to re-invigorate coastal rowing and to re-establish 100+ year old Portballintrae Regatta.

“The project is called ‘BUILD’ which stands for Building Understanding, Inspiring Learning & Development and our focus is on these three things: Firstly we aim to Build Understanding - Our village has a unique heritage: we want to explore and preserve it - through our community, schools, local groups and our visitors.

Secondly - we want to Inspire Learning - Getting people out and enjoying the bay and the coastlines in new and unique ways – canoeing, paddle-boarding, sailing and rowing. Finally, Development - specifically people and community - through our unique Causeway Challenges which are based on the John Muir Trusts conservation model of Discovering, Exploring, Conserving and Sharing - groups will get an experience for giving back.

“We need votes to make this happen, it’s easy online, just a couple of clicks. Vote, Verify your vote by clicking the email you receive post vote and Share with friends. Voting opens on Monday 20 March 2017.”

On Monday night at 6pm UTV Live will feature the projects at 6pm The Coast Office and if it is successful, the group will receive £50,000 for its B.U.I.L.D. project which will use the funding to connect people including schoolchildren and older people with each other and their local coastal countryside.

Voting closes at noon on Monday 3 April and the results will be announced on Thursday 6 April 2017. People can vote once per region and will need an email address to vote*. To vote go to www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk. People can vote by post by sending a postcard to ‘FREEPOST THE PEOPLE’S PROJECTS’. To be counted, the following details must be written on the postcard: name, address, telephone number and the name of the project voted for. Send your postal vote by Wednesday 29 March 2017. Postal votes must be received by noon on Monday 3rd April 2017.