Living QuarryA charity project on Portland has been shortlisted for a Lottery award competition.

Portland’s Living Quarry project is one of six groups preparing to lock horns to win a share of £200,000 of the Big Lottery Fund’s good cause money in The People’s Millions contest.

Four groups in the region will win awards of up to £50,000 each for their community project from the contest, soon to be shown on ITV Westcountry evening regional news.

Hannah Sofaer, from the project, said she was elated that the scheme had been shortlisted.

She said that the money would be used to refurbish the annexe which people of all ages use as a workshop.

She added: “This facility will provide a fitting tribute to the island’s stonemasons and quarrymen as well as being a centre for all the arts in the centre of Portland.

“We hope local people will vote for us as soon as the details of how to vote are released.”

This is the fifth year that the fund has given the public the chance to vote on where the good cause cash goes in their region. Projects up for the vote will enhance local facilities, help people to enjoy their area and enable residents to get more involved in their community. The contest will see two projects go head-to-head each night in the week of November 23 to 26.

The six schemes will make their case for the public’s vote, with the winners being decided in a phone poll.

At the end of the week the top three will have won a slice of the £200,000 of Lottery good cause cash. The best runner-up with the most phone votes will win a grant to be the final winner, announced on Thursday, November 26.

Across the UK, £3.5million will be awarded by the public.

Over the past four years the programme has handed out £18.1million to 318 good causes, with more than 1.6million people voting for their favourite project.

Wednesday, November 25, sees Plymouth Drake Sea Cadets’ Safety, Mobility and Adventure Project in Devon up against The Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust’s Portland’s Living Quarry scheme.

The project would renovate a building to create a community-run creative workspace where people could learn stonework skills, exhibit and sell their work and also meet and socialise with people from different backgrounds.

It would enable people to learn about local ecology, geology and the history of the quarry from which they would get their raw materials.

Telephone voting lines will open at 9am on the day the projects are due to appear on ITV and winners will be announced the following day.

Mark Cotton, Big Lottery Fund Head of the South West Region, said: “Now in its fifth year, the contest promises to be as exciting as ever.

“Voters in the Westcountry region will have some tough choices to make in deciding which of the excellent projects going head-to-head will get their support.”