Letter: Y2K troubles

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The Independent Culture
Sir: If it is true, as your architecture correspondent suggest ("Will the Earth move anyone?",11 December), that many of the 14 Landmark Projects part-funded by the Millennium Commission are having to cut back on their original plans, then I suggest this is a matter of national concern.

The pounds 600m investment of lottery funds, together with a matching sum from partners, sponsors, etc, represents a unique investment in much-needed educational and leisure facilities across the country. Many of the Landmark Projects, such as the National Space Science Centre being developed in Leicester (happily one of the more financially robust projects), will provide a vital source of information and inspiration, as well as entertainment, to young and old alike into the next century. In the case of the NSSC there is also strong interest across Europe. With Landmark Projects due to open in 2000 or 2001 crucial decisions, not only on architecture, but also in content, must be imminent, if not already taken. A widespread cut-back in their quality and vision would be tragic.

Is it not, therefore, urgent that the Millennium Commission - and relevant government ministers - take time off from their concerns about the Greenwich dome to ensure the nationwide investment in these long-term educational facilities does not become a major missed opportunity?

Professor KEN POUNDS

Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Leicester

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