Big money goes to small projects

Millennium funding: Low-level schemes to get benefit as commissioners step back from landmark proposals

The Millennium Commission stepped back from its original aim of funding monumental and landmark projects when it announced its first round of awards yesterday.

The 27 projects totalling pounds 66.5m are almost all low level, local and environmental, amounting to a reversal of the commission's original dream to create memorable landmarks. Last year, one commissioner, Simon Jenkins, called for schemes with "fizz, excitement, and panache". Another, the Earl of Dalkeith, said successful projects would be "on a grander scale than usual".

But yesterday the only award which met any of such definition was the grant of up to pounds 42.5m to the charity Sustrans (short for Sustainable Transport) to create a national network of cycle paths. These will total more than 6,500 miles of traffic-free paths and traffic-calmed roads running through most major towns in the United Kingdom. The total project cost is estimated at pounds 183m.

But this scheme appears to go against one criteria for millennium funding - that projects are accessible to the disabled. Yesterday Virginia Bottomley, Secretary of State for National Heritage and chair of the Millennium Commission, said wheelchairs could be used on the route and bicycles could be adapted for the disabled.

Asked whether the award to Sustrans did not compromise the principle of additionality, under which lottery money cannot be spent on areas funded by the Government, Mrs Bottomley answered: "To build 2,500 miles of cycle routes is not something the Government would have been able to do." The second largest award went to the Groundwork Foundation, which was given grants of up to pounds 22.1m for up to 21 projects to reclaim wasteland in England and Wales.

The five-year programme aims to provide footpaths, safe play areas, cycle tracks, sports and community facilities and wildlife parks. A deprived housing area in Blackburn, Lancashire, a length of the Digbeth branch canal in Birmingham, and a former rubbish dump in Saltash, Cornwall, will be among areas which benefit.

The other awards included a pounds 736,000 grant to Northamptonshire County Council and Anglia Water to make a country park accessible to the disabled and a grant of pounds 547,000 to Wigtown District Council in Scotland to turn a town centre car park into a "high-quality seafront amenity" with a boating lake and cafe.

n Britain's oldest public art gallery has won a pounds 3m endowment grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, which also distributes lottery cash, to help to defend it from a long-term threat of closure.

Dulwich Picture Gallery in south-east London, has been awarded the grant as part of its attempt to create an endowment fund of pounds 10.5m to ensure an annual income of pounds 800,000.

Leading article, page 14

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before