Pride in Penrith Lottery awards its largest grant to date

A grant of £7,500 was recently awarded to Eden Arts, who applied for funding from the Pride in Penrith Lottery.  The grant will go towards funding the new Winter Droving event, which is to take place in Penrith on the 24th November.  This grant is the biggest the Pride in Penrith Lottery has awarded to date and is keen that members, the local community and businesses get involved to make it a real success.

The board of the Pride in Penrith Lottery were really inspired by the application and how an event of this scale could make a significant impact on Penrith.  The key thing for the Lottery was that the Winter Droving is created, designed and facilitated by local organisations such as Eden Arts, Acorn Marketing, Blue Jam, and artists, performers and makers from the area.  Organisers are also encouraging all sorts of community groups to come together and get involved in the event.  The Pride in Penrith Lottery began in 2010 with the desire to help fund local projects and events that had a wide impact on the local community; so the Winter Droving event ticked all the boxes of what they Lottery is all about.

Adrian Lochhead, Director of Eden Arts comments,

“It is fantastic that there was this extra source of funding for us to tap in to for us to create a large scale event like the Winter Droving.  Without the support of organisations like the Pride in Penrith Lottery we would have been unable to create this magical new event for the town.”    

However, organisers stress the key to making the event a success is if members of the public, community groups, businesses and families come along and join in.

“We have created this event specifically to get the whole community involved.  We didn’t want to “ship in” a show which has been done in the past, where once it has gone that is it.  We wanted to create something people can feel ownership of; like the torch light procession in Kendal, or the lantern procession in Ulverston.  We wanted to remind people of Penrith’s rich heritage of being a place where people would gather on market day, for selling cattle, socialising or having a pint.  We want to celebrate our town, our history, our culture and create a real party atmosphere that will create a new tradition that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

There are various opportunities to get involved, whether you are part of a community group, school, a family or an individual who just wants to join in.  The event will encompass hundreds of fire torches.  If you are over 16 you can join the procession and carry one of the fire torches.  One of the key elements of the procession is the ‘droving’ of the animals through the town, which will be in the form of masked participants.  Members of the public of all ages are encouraged to make their own masks to wear in the procession, or as an audience member.  There are workshops which will take place every Saturday in November from 1pm to 4pm in the Soup Shop in the Devonshire Arcade.  Blank and decorated mask are also available to buy from various shops in town and mask templates can also be downloaded from the Eden Arts website for free.

To make the event really special organisers hope to have 300-400 people in the procession, holding torches, wearing masks, carrying lanterns and playing folk inspired music.  They are urging people to get involved and register online at  Although people can join in on the day as well and be part of the first Winter Droving in Penrith.

The event will end in Great Dockray with a great line up of music including local singer Fiona Clayton who recently launched her first folk album, and local bands Tarras and Room Full of Mirrors to get the whole town singing, dancing and celebrating Penrith. 

To date over £15,000 has been donated to local good causes, with the core aim of the Pride in Penrith Lottery to help local initiatives develop, thrive and continue to improve the town.  The Lottery continues to grow with new members joining all the time, more people winning prizes and ultimately more money generated for the town.

“The board of the Lottery were waiting for something really exciting to come along that we could be involved in and when we heard of the fire procession we knew this would be an excellent event that could have a huge impact on the town and be something that would bring the local community together and rejuvenate the towns events.  We were very excited that we could help fund such a fantastic project as the Winter Droving and we hope all our members and the general public have a great time at this event.”  Comments Rob Udale, Chairman of the Pride in Penrith Lottery