These are the top 40 things people would like to see more of in their community

Adults want to see more communal gardens, independent shops and exhibitions in their local community

Adults want to see more communal gardens, independent shops and exhibitions in their local community

A study of 2,000 people by The National Lottery found wellbeing centres, libraries and bee houses (bee friendly areas / hives) also among the features locals want to see.

Hopes and dreams for the nation’s communities in 2022 were also revealed as having more mental health support groups, being able to afford improvements to places that matter and for more entertainment facilities.

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    Similarly, when it comes to what needs improving currently, 16 per cent want more social schemes and venues and 18 per cent want a 'friendlier' neighbourhood.

    The study was commissioned by The National Lottery to mark its 27th anniversary and also found that people last saw improvements in their neighbourhood an average of 17 months ago.

    And 46 per cent claim they aren’t made regularly enough.

    But 41 per cent have noticed enhancements over the past decade including more community events, green spaces and sports clubs.

    Antrim Castle Gardens, Antrim, Belfast. November 16 2021.

    Improvements that directly impact the atmosphere

    Half of those polled believe improvements to their community would result in a happier atmosphere.

    Among the things currently valued in their community were cafes, parks and public transport.

    Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and chair of the National Lottery Forum, said: “The 27 years we have been funding has been transforming communities, turning dreams into reality and making life better for millions of people.

    “As we emerge from what has been a desperately challenging time, we want to inject hope and encourage communities to imagine what they could achieve with a helping hand.

    “With £30million raised for good causes each week, we have grants available from £3,000 to £5million.

    "By coming together as communities, and as a nation, we can build, dream and create to change our future for the better and for generations to come.”

    The study also found almost half said the pandemic made people more interested in their community and for 29 per cent it made them think about how to make a difference.

    And of those surveyed via OnePoll, 39 per cent take part in activities that make a positive impact in their local area.

    A further 24 per cent are personally involved in roles within their community, including being part of the neighbourhood watch, running a social media group and helping out sports and church events.

    To celebrate the 636,000 projects The National Lottery have supported over the past 27 years, four word based installations – Build, Dreams, Create, Change - are being unveiled across London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Antrim.

    Famous faces Alexandra Burke, Sir Chris Hoy, Nadine Coyle and Liam Reardon will be revealing the artworks which have each been created using 636 National Lottery balls by arts collective Greyworld and inspired by funded projects.

    Alexandra Burke, who unveiled ‘Change’ in London’s Trafalgar Square, said: “What I love about working in music and performing arts is its ability to connect people and to inspire creativity as we push boundaries together.

    “The National Lottery really acts as the backbone to give so many venues, productions and artists around the UK the ability to stage the events and performances we love so much, 70 per cent of these grants are for under £10,000 and go to small organisations with big ideas to make a difference in their community.

    “Funding is available for communities in many different forms; there are a myriad of ways you can make change happen. If we can continue to support and protect our community, we are able to future-proof it for generations to come and make so many dreams a reality.”

    The four National Lottery art installations BUILD, DREAMS, CREATE and CHANGE which have been unveiled in the four nations of the UK. 


    1.           Independent shops

    2.           Free car parking

    3.           Green spaces

    4.           Recycling bins

    5.           Restaurants

    6.           Parks

    7.           Benches

    8.           High street chain shops

    9.           Public bins

    10.         Public transport

    11.         Walking / hiking trails

    12.         Healthcare facilities

    13.         Wellbeing drop-in centres/clubs e.g. for lonely people

    14.         Community gardens

    15.         Cafes

    16.         Music events

    17.         Safe road crossings

    18.         Streetlights

    19.         Defibrillators

    20.         Cycle paths

    21.         Libraries

    22.         Theatres

    23.         Cinemas

    24.         Bee houses

    25.         Museums

    26.         Outdoor sports facilities e.g. tennis courts, football pitches

    27.         Exhibitions

    28.         Historic places

    29.         Fetes

    30.         Dog friendly beaches/parks

    31.         Youth/social clubs

    32.         Gardening clubs

    33.         Walking clubs

    34.         Wall murals

    35.         Sports clubs for kids

    36.         Charity events

    37.         Sports clubs for adults

    38.         Art installations

    39.         Local landmarks

    40.         After school clubs / educational clubs