Time is running out for you to cast your vote to help The Pembroke Dock Falcon Exhibition to win the coveted ‘Project of the Year’ trophy at the National Lottery Awards 2022. The Pembroke Dock Falcon Exhibition, curated by the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust and which opened for the first time in May this year, tells the unique story of how shipbuilders in the small town of Pembroke Dock in west Wales were commissioned to build the Star Wars films’ iconic Millennium Falcon starship during the 1970’s. The project beat off stiff competition from more than 1300 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrate the people and projects across the UK who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding. The public voting stage for the Project of the Year category at this year’s awards opened on September 7 and since then, thousands of people across the country have cast votes for the 17 finalists to help decide this year’s winner. But with the public vote set to come to an end on October 12, time is running out to show your support and The Pembroke Dock Falcon Exhibition is appealing for your help to get them over the line. The Pembroke Dock Falcon Exhibition opened in May this year to tell the story of the town’s ‘worst kept secret’ - the building of a life-size Star Wars starship prop in the 1970s. Back in 1979, the shipbuilders of Pembroke dock were commissioned to build a very special vessel - a full-size version of iconic starship, The Millennium Falcon, for the Oscar-winning Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back. Chosen because they had the expertise and the room for such an ambitious undertaking, the workers were sworn to secrecy, with the project even being given a special codename: ‘Magic Roundabout’. Now a permanent exhibition in the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, it tells the story of how the iconic 23-tonne prop was built out of steel and marine plywood in a hangar over three months. The exhibition features photographs, previously unseen footage, testimonies from the shipbuilders and a detailed model showing the various stages of construction. The exhibition received an £8,000 grant from The National Lottery in order create a permanent display in the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, attracting fans from all over the world to find out the secrets behind the building of such an iconic starship. Mark Williams, Project Consultant at The Pembroke Dock Falcon Exhibition and local Star Wars expert, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Millennium Falcon Exhibition has been shortlisted as a finalist for Project of the Year in the 2022 National Lottery Awards. “George Lucas set a new standard in both storytelling and film making with Star Wars and the story of the Millennium Falcon being built in Pembroke Dock was big news at the time but sadly the story was forgotten, fading into a legend. The idea of a town in west Wales making a significant contribution to this incredible story by being the place where one of the most iconic starships in science fiction history was built, creates a mixture of disbelief, awe and pride. “Thanks to National Lottery players, we are now able to tell that story again to a whole new generation of fans. We’ve been open to the public since May and the exhibition is already proving popular with people of all ages from around the world and has even prompted more stories about the construction to emerge from the families of the workers. It has provided a significant boost for Pembroke Dock with increased visitor numbers helping with the economic regeneration of the town which in turn has major benefits for Pembrokeshire as a whole. “To win this award would be an amazing way to cap off a fantastic few months – we would urge the public to get behind us in our quest to be named Project of the Year!” At the end of the month-long voting window, the finalist with the most votes will be crowned the National Lottery Awards 2022 Project of the Year. The winning project will receive a £5,000 cash prize and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy. Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery, said: “We’re so excited to have such an incredible list of contenders for the Project of the Year category at this year’s National Lottery Awards. “It’s always an incredibly competitive category and this year is no different. “Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £30 million goes to good causes across the country every week, making vital projects like these possible. So don’t forget to make your voice heard by voting for your Project of the Year in the National Lottery Awards – with your help, The Pembroke Dock Falcon Exhibition could be a winner.” To cast your vote for The Pembroke Dock Falcon Exhibition, visit the National Lottery Awards webpage at lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards, or simply share the hashtag #NLApembrokedockfalcon on Twitter. Voting closes at 5pm on October 12. *The public vote was suspended during the period of mourning for her Majesty the Queen and reopened on Tuesday, September 20.