For two decades money raised by National Lottery players has been re-invested in local communities and national projects to the tune of an eye-watering £32billion. Anyone who has ever bought a National Lottery ticket has helped to combat homelessness, tackle the stigma of mental health illness, inspired filmmakers, kept museums open and parks appealing.
Britain is home to some of the most prestigious historic buildings in the world, from great castles and stately homes to top tourist destinations, such as the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. These buildings are a key part of our country's heritage, however they require expert love and care in order to remain solid structures that visitors will be able to enjoy for generations to come.
Every country and culture has stereotypes that go alongside it, some truer than others. Scotland of course, is no different. However, what I have noticed is that while Scotland is part of the UK British stereotypes tend to be more closely associated with the English portion of the country. It is a common mistake to think of the U.K. and England synonymously, when this is not true. As a Scot, I have no objection to being called British, but I am certainly not English.
Britain's built heritage is a huge asset and one of our major strengths as a tourism destination. Looking forward, we are capitalising on this forte by upping our promotional activity in key markets around the world, using images that highlight the drama of our castles and romantic appeal of historic houses.
Looking back at royal baby week, one can't help but realise the global reach of such occasions and the positive knock on effects for international tourism. Judging by the international media gathered in London for the birth of Prince George, Britain's profile has undoubtedly been lifted, with images and footage splashed across newspapers and TV sets globally... Hosting the very best national broadcasters from around the world puts us front of mind once again and reinvigorates our brand as we seek to maintain the momentum of the Royal Wedding, The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and of course the 2012 Olympic Games.
Round the back of London's South Bank, something important is hidden away. It's within easy walk of a currently rammed Olympic transport hub, but unlike London Bridge, there's no one in a purple and orange overall to offer helpful and insistent directions. In fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking there'd been something of a cover up.