MORE than £620,000 of National Lottery funding was invested across the Purbeck region last year, official figures have revealed.

Eight grants were awarded across the district in 2012, providing a welcome cash boost to local arts, sports, heritage and community groups.

Awards included £45,180 to Bere Regis Sports Club, enabling the club to convert a field into new junior football pitches.

Prime Time Kids Club, in Wareham, landed £9,965 to purchase play and ICT equipment, and soft furnishings for their renovated premises. Also among the organisations benefiting from National Lottery cash was Moreton Village Hall and Recreation Field.

They received £3,175 towards the construction of an up-to-date community facility in the village.

John Barrowman, presenter of last year’s National Lottery Awards show, said: “National Lottery players raise £33million every week for a wide range of projects which make a life-changing difference to local communities.

“The awards are a great way of celebrating their work and the unsung heroes helping people with National Lottery funding.

“Everyone in Purbeck who plays the National Lottery should be proud of the difference their money is making in the local community.

“If you know of a lottery-funded organisation that deserves to be nominated, we want to hear from you.”

Last year the Daily Echo reported how National Lottery bosses had praised a Dorset shop after it raised almost £1.69million for various Lotto good causes.

Andy and Linda James, of Swanage News, said they were proud to have played their part in raising the cash.

Linda said: “As far as we’re aware, we’ve not made anyone a millionaire yet, but we’ve had a few big scratch card winners.”