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Tuesday, 18 June 1996

The Millennium Commission today formally announced that Greenwich will host the nation’s celebration of the new millennium.

After a meeting of the Commission confidence was expressed that sufficient support had been evidenced by the private sector to enable the Millennium Commission to earmark its allocation of £200 million from National Lottery Funds for the event.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Premier Michael Heseltine, Heritage Minister Virginia Bottomley and Sir Peter Levene, charged with rallying the private sector to pledge its contribution.

Major pledges have been made to date by British Gas, British Airways and British Telecom totalling around £24 million--leaving a shortfall in private sector of some £117 million.

Questioned about this, Sir Bob Scott--Chief Executive of the Millennium Trust which championed Greenwich’s successful bid--stated that “...anyone who knew Sir Peter Levene knew him to be a hard man who would not have presented a positive case if it were not so...”

Asked about rumours of a scaling down in the celebrations due to feared underfunding, Sir Bob Scott rallied: “You must ask Imagination about this--but if what I saw the other day represents a scaling down, heaven knows what the original concept was.” (Imagination is the company appointed to present a plan for the millennium site at Greenwich).

The news is certain to bring longed-awaited confidence on which Greenwich can now build to produce a spectacular celebration which will take the nation into the third millennium.

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