Letter: Lottery torture

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Having been close to the problems of the Earth Centre for some time I have come to the conclusion that Lottery funding is a sophisticated form of torture. It raises hopes and stimulates dreams which are gradually ground down by the pressure of having to find matching funding.

The cynical flavour of Nonie Neisewand's article (11 December) will not have boosted morale at Conisborough. This is one of the Landmark projects which sets its sights well beyond the fizz of the 2000 event. As the next century progresses the Earth Centre will become an international focus for information and research on matters to do with global warming and climate change. At present the idea of "sustainability" is fashionable; within the next few decades it could be a matter of life and death. There is no other enterprise under way which will so effectively point the way to survival.

I endorse Professor Ken Pounds' plea (letter, 14 December) that the Millennium Commission with government help ensures that enterprises which will shape the future, like the Earth Centre realise their design potential.

Professor PETER F SMITH

School of Construction

Sheffield Hallam University

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