COMMUNITY groups and projects in the Vale of Glamorgan are being encouraged to enter this year's National Lottery Awards scheme, after newly released figures showed more than £1 million was invested locally through National Lottery Funding last year.

A total of 64 National Lottery grants were awarded in the Vale during 2017, providing funding in a variety of areas including arts, sports and heritage projects, as well as to community groups helping those most in need.

Penarth Women's Institute were among those to benefit from the scheme, after receiving more than £1,250 towards improving the group's facilities.

The National Lottery Awards 2018 are open to any organisation which has ever received National Lottery funding, with a public vote to decide the nation's favourites.

Winners’ will receive a £5,000 cash prize and recognition at a glittering ceremony broadcast on BBC One later in the year.

Last year, the Welsh language reading app Magi Ann won the Best Education Project award, while Debbie Turnbull, who set up the River and Sea Sense project in Llandudno after her teenage son drowned, was honoured with the Special Achievement Award.

Projects can be nominated for a National Lottery Award in seven categories: arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport and voluntary/charity..

To nominate, tweet @LottoGoodCauses with your suggestions, or call 02072933329. Entries must be received by midnight on April 6, 2018.