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DENIAL OF LOTTERY FUNDING TO MULTI-CULTURAL CENTRE WAS LEGITIMATE

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A multi-faith foundation that had hoped to build 'the most significant multi-cultural project in Britain for the Mi...
A multi-faith foundation that had hoped to build 'the most significant multi-cultural project in Britain for the Millennium' in Harrow, using£10m of lottery money, have failed in a high court challenge to The Millennium Commission's refusal to grant funding.

Backing the Commission's decision on Friday, Mr justice Lightman found that it had to weigh up the merits of the proposed Asha Centre against those of other applicants, and said: 'Unfortunately in any competition, as well as winners there are losers.'

The Asha Foundation had launched the high court challenge to the Millennium Commission's decision to reject its application for funding under its 'fifth round of capital projects' procedure in 2000.

It had hoped to build the multi-faith Asha Centre for leisure, education and community activity on a ten-acre site.

The Foundation said that the project was described in The Times in November 1999 as 'the country's first museum of immigration' in which the Foundation had persuaded Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians to 'bury their differences in support of the Centre which will teach about their history and beliefs'.

However, the judge, backing the Millennium Commission's decision said: 'I must make it clear that my decision involves no findings on the merits of the project. The merits of the project are self-evident. At issue in the competition were not its merits, but its comparative merits with those of the other applicants.'

Speaking after the verdict, the Asha Foundation said they were 'disappointed' and 'actively considering mounting an appeal'.

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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