20 years of National Lottery celebrated at Historic Dockyard

Enthusiast Matt Searson with his selction of collectable vinyl releases. Picture: Duncan Shepherd (180341-007)

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THEY are Portsmouth’s treasures and thanks to funding from the lottery are able to open their doors to the public.

The Mary Rose Museum, HMS Warrior and The National Museum of the Royal Navy have all benefited from a slice of more than £40m lotto cash.

The National Lottery is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and yesterday was at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to look at where the money has been spent.

HMS Warrior received £1m of lottery funding in order to redo the historic ship’s deck.

Tony Ford, executive officer for HMS Warrior, said: ‘Money from ticket sales and events at the dockyard help pay for the day-to-day running of HMS Warrior.

‘We’re planning on moving to a dry dock in 2017 so the ship can be cleaned, which means any extra money is being diverted to help that move.

‘So to get money from the lottery for vital maintenance work is tremendously helpful.

‘We had £1m for the ship’s deck – without that work being carried out we wouldn’t be able to open to the public.

‘And we have a £3m bid in place which will be used to renovate the bulwarks.’

A lucky winning couple were also at the dockyard to see how money has helped.

Sharon Hall, 47, and John, 51, of Waterlooville, won £1m after playing a scratchcard.

Sharon, who used to be a master of arms for the Royal Navy said: ‘Me and my husband were living in married quarters and had two young children.

‘The money has changed our lives.

‘We were able to buy our house and a car and go on holiday.

‘We’re both still working and we come to the dockyard often.

‘It’s great to see how the money is spent.’

The largest National Lottery grant in Portsmouth was £39m for the redevelopment of the Portsmouth Harbour in 1997.

There have been 33 millionaires within the PO postcode.