Welsh comedian Elis James is marking 25 years of National Lottery support for the UK’s most treasured and historic places by taking a cheeky and comical glimpse inside the famous walls of Cardiff Castle. 

“It was great fun exploring Cardiff Castle, which has been restored thanks to National Lottery funding. It’s real shame that I wasn’t given the keys to the castle, but it was fun pretending it was mine. I’m very happy to be supporting this project and the £10bn funding that National Lottery has given towards hundreds of other treasured and historic places across the UK.” – Comedian Elis James

Elis James, who was born in Pembrokeshire and grew up in Carmarthen, this week launched hundreds of free offers to say thank you to people who buy National Lottery tickets and give them a chance to see how their money has transformed the UK’s heritage over the past 25 years.

To launch #ThanksToYou for 25 Years, Elis James visited Cardiff Castle, one of the hundreds of National Lottery funded places in the UK that are offering either free entry or other exclusive offers to people who turn up with a National Lottery ticket from 23rd November to 1st December. He appears in a tongue-in-cheek film telling viewers he has ‘bought’ the 900-year-old castle and gives his own unique guide to its history.

Considered to be Cardiff’s historic heart, Cardiff Castle is a Grade I listed Scheduled Monument and is now one of the major visitor destinations in Wales.

In 1998, the Castle was awarded more than £6.7 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for an extensive restoration project. It not only conserved the exteriors and interiors of the various buildings on the site – including Wales’ most ornate architectural icon, the Cardiff Clock Tower – but it also created an interpretation centre that ensures the steadily growing number of visitors can be welcomed and managed.

Elis James joins three other celebrities, who all seem to think they live in treasured and historic places across the UK: Derry Girls’ Jamie-Lee O’Donnell at SS Nomadic in Belfast, rapper Big Narstie at Kenwood House and Love Islander Anton Danyluk at Scotland’s Abbotsford with a special cameo from his mum.

The tours showcase just a handful of the thousands of treasured and historic places funded by the National Lottery over the past 25 years, which together have brought about a renaissance in UK’s heritage. Thousands of our most beautiful, iconic and historically important sites have been opened up to the public and given a new lease of life, from castles to museums; historic houses to gardens and waterways; from steam railways and canals to historic ships and places that mark our greatest industrial and scientific achievements.

“Over the past 25 years, money from the National Lottery has quite simply made the UK a better place to live. Since 1994, more than 44,000 heritage projects have been awarded over £8 billion (via The National Lottery Heritage Fund). Our heritage has been completely transformed. This is our way to say thank you for all your support. ” -Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund

Images courtesy of National Lottery Good Causes.

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