A lotto hope for Shire Hall

FUNDRAISERS trying to save one of Suffolk's most historic properties from falling down could take on a different ball game to find extra cash.Woodbridge town council could follow in the footsteps of struggling Premiership football club Leeds United and start up a daily lottery.

FUNDRAISERS trying to save one of Suffolk's most historic properties from falling down could take on a different ball game to find extra cash.

Woodbridge town council could follow in the footsteps of struggling Premiership football club Leeds United and start up a daily lottery.

The town council has to repay a £150,000 loan from the Public Works Loan Board. There is an estimated annual cost of £18,000 and the council needs to have fundraising activities to pay back the loan. £50,000 is being used from the council's reserves towards the £200,000-plus cost of repairing the Shire Hall.

One idea from councillor Ben Redsell is for a daily lottery with a top prize of £10,000. This is a national lottery provided by the Great Weather Lottery and people taking part already include supporters of Leeds United, Everton and Birmingham City.

Rugby and cricket clubs, schools, the Scottish National Party, the Conservative Party and charities ranging from the British Red Cross to the Anthony Nolan Trust also participate. The town council's only financial commitment would be a set up charge of £50 plus VAT.

It costs £1 a week, paid by monthly standing order or cheque, to pick numbers that will be used in daily draws from Monday to Friday. Six numbers are chosen from 0 to nine and the idea is to match your chosen numbers with the last digit of the daily farenheit temperature of Corfu, Istanbul, Tenerife, Innsbruck, Edinburgh and Stockholm in the right order. The daily prizes start from £2 for three numbers.

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Cllr Redsell said: "People will have a little fun, play the lottery, win some cash and know that they are contributing to saving a piece of heritage."

More than 20 years ago a successful lottery known as the "Little Ernie" in Woodbridge helped to pay for the community centre.

Nigel Barratt said: "If this fails we will not be able to do a lottery again, it would rebound badly on us. I think it is quite a serious risk."

Roy Burgon warned: "If we do not get shifting we will leave this town in hock (debt) for generations to come. Lets get on and raise the money before this town and council is in trouble."

Councillors will make a final decision in February.

Nearly 60 engraved bricks ranging in price from £35 to £500 have been sold as part of a council a buy-a-brick scheme. They will be laid in the market square with the money going towards the restoration fund.

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