NEARLY £1.5 million of National Lottery funding has gone to good causes in Dorset over the past six months.

The body has contributed more than £56m across the South West since January 1 2017 through its open access programmes.

Big recipients have included Bournemouth's Immanuel Church with £412,229 for its Connect 2 Immanuel Community Centre project.

This project will see the extension of the busy centre with new facilities, with the aim of attracting new groups.

A wide range of community activities already take place at the centre on a daily basis including youth group activities, a parent and toddler group, a not-for-profit pre-school for 25 children, two weekly drop-in coffee mornings and IT classes.

In the north of the county, Charlton Marshall has received £515,000 to build its new village hall, with a larger space and separate meeting room.

Also, REFRESH in Weymouth and Portland has received £252,712 for its money management training programme.

Recipients of smaller grants of £10,000 or less include Bournemouth's Safe and Sound activity sessions for vulnerable women, the Stop Animation project for at-risk young people, the One Heart Seaing Sunshine (sic) project for youngsters with long-term illnesses, and storytelling workshops for people with mental health problems courtesy of Mi Flamenco.

In Christchurch 22nd Hurn Air Scouts have received cash for a new scout hut, while Christchurch DofE has received a grant to host an annual outward bound camp to help youngsters develop team skills.

Poole recipients include for the Matchline scheme, a helpline for mothers living apart from their children, and Poole Over 55s to help the club grow its membership and improve its governance.

Nearly £10k has gone to Three Legged Cross First and Nursery School to develop its play facilities, and Okeford Fitzpaine Primary School picked up £10k for an outdoor fitness centre, also for community use.

Bournemouth's ACTS FAST group for victims of sexual abuse and its Citizens Advice Bureau have received grants, along with Wimborne Wagtails Swimming Club to train instructors so it can hold more exercise classes.