EC may fund Millennium show
Thursday 13 June 1996
The possibility has prompted angry allegations that the south-east London site is receiving more favourable Government treatment than Birmingham, the other contender to host the massive event.
Virginia Bottomley, the Secretary of State for National Heritage, and Michael Heseltine, the Deputy Prime Minister, are leading a last-minute push to secure sufficient private backing for Greenwich. At the same time, the Independent has learned that Mrs Bottomley is hopeful any gap in funding can be filled by the EC.
Last week, a delegation from Greenwich visited Brussels and held a series of meetings with the EC Transport and Culture Commissions. The party saw Colette Flesch, Director-General of the EC's cultural side, and officials in the office of Neil Kinnock, the Transport Commissioner.
A spokesman for Greenwich Millennium Trust, the exhibition organisers, said both sessions went well. No specific sums, he said, were discussed. Mr Kinnock's department was interested in making a grant towards the cost of providing a riverboat service for the Greenwich peninsula, which is expected to attract 11-15 million visitors to the exhibition. Other EC cash, said the trust, is likely to come from the Commission's Article 10 Regional Development fund.
A spokesman for Mr Heseltine said that if the exhibition goes ahead in Greenwich, it is likely to qualify for EC urban regeneration funding.
Today, Labour and Conservative Midlands MPs will join forces with the city's National Exhibition Centre, which fought Greenwich for the right to stage the Millennium celebration, to hold a presentation at Westminster emphasising Birmingham's case.
Robin Corbett, Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington said EC money going to Greenwich was an outrage, and accused the Government of "cheating".
"All along," he said, "the Government has been moving the goalposts to enable Greenwich to win by the back door." Birmingham, he added, had all its funding in place and could start work immediately.
The Greenwich Millennium Trust disputed Mr Corbett's claim, saying the peninsula, which is owned by British Gas, was always going to be redeveloped and was always going to be a candidate for EC aid.
The City of London Corporation yesterday put its backing behind Greenwich, promising pounds 5m for the exhibition.
Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
Oscar Pistorius trial: Photographs of Paralympian splattered in blood shown in court
Seth Rogen compiles list of all the celebrities he’s got high with
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Satellite ‘pings sent five hours after contact was lost' the only clue in hunt for £160m plane
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Plane's communications were deliberately disabled says prime minister Razak as new radar evidence points to hijacking
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 3 Saving a crushed egg with tape and glue: Why you should care about the kakapo
- 4 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...