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The new millennium started early today as the New Millennium ...
The new millennium started early today as the New Millennium

Experiencc Company (NMEC) armounced that it is open for business and

ready to receive proposals for awards of over£5,000 for local and

regional millennium celebrations in 2000.

The festival fund has been created by the 11 UK lottery distributors

working together and applications will now be invited for projects

to mark the millennium year in local communities up and down the

country. All kinds of activities will be supported by the fund, such

as recreational, heritage, educational, sports and arts initiatives,

with the aim of both marking the millennium and creating a lasting

legacy for the people of every town, city and village in the UK.

Secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Chris Smith said:

'I was pleased to announce the£100m festival fund earlier this

year. I'm now even more pleased that applications can start to flow

in. Not only will the festival actively involve people all over the

UK, but it will also give local communities the chance to achieve a

lasting legacy too.

'The millennium is about so much more than just an exciting dome at

Greenwich. It is about realising everyone's aspirations to mark a

very significant moment in time throughout the country. The festival

will fund the best ideas for these celebratioins'.

The initial proposals will be administered by the NMEC's 12

millennium offices. Thousands of applications are expected from all

over the UK from public and non-profit-making organisations

interested in developing their own millennium projects with the help

of the millennium fund. Any groups or organisations interested in

bidding for money can register their interest by calling the

Millennium Festival Fund Information Line on: 0870-600-2000

They will be sent a proposal form and guidance notes and details of

how to apply for a grant. From then, those applying will have until

August 31st to submit their applications and final decisions on

awards will be made by the end of December 1998. Further awards for

sums less than£5,000 will be made via a similar process in 1999.

The typical size of awards in the first round will be around£30,000

and will have innovative nd outstanding qualities which have an

immediate impact on the locality and beyond. They will need to be

accessible and should encourage maximum participation by the broadest

possible cross-section of people and a create a lasting legacy.

Director of the UK Millennium Programme, Joe Simpson said:

'Groups or organisations which satisfy simple eligibility criteria

can apply for money and we are actively encouraging people to come

forward with their ideas as soon as possible to make sure that the

best proposals are supported'.


1. The Millennium Festival Fund is a£100m programme to enable

people throughout the UK to celebrate the millennium. The funding has

been made possible through joint commitment of the NMEC, The

Millennium Commission, The Arts Council of England, Wales and

Scotland, Lottery Fund. The Sports Councils of England, Wales,

Northern Ireland and Scotland, Lottery Sports Fund, The National

Lottery Charities Board and The Heritage Lottery Fund

2. Some ideas being submitted for grant awards have already been

received by the Millennium offices. These include:

- Town twinning and exchange programmes in 2000

- Events which celebrate local history and culture

- Projects which encourage volunteering and community activity

- Comedy and Theatre Festivals

- Sports Competitions

- Arts and Music Festivals

- Youth Sports Events

- Oral History Projects

- Community Initiatives

3. Further details of applications, including geographical

breakdown is received will be given later in 1998.

For further information on applying for a grant ring the Festival Hotline on 0870-600-2000.

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