`Green' schemes given pounds 46m

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The Independent Online
Virginia Bottomley, the Secretary of State for National Heritage, yesterday announced grants worth pounds 46m from the Millennium Commission to 10 environmental and community projects.

Mrs Bottomley, the commission's chairman, said that the grants were intended to make a significant difference to the quality of life of the British people. The principal recipient is the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, west London, for the Millennium Seed Bank, which received pounds 21.5m. It becomes the fifth "landmark" project following on from the Tate Gallery, Portsmouth Harbour, an "Earth Centre" at Doncaster, South Yorkshire, and the redevelopment of Hampden Park.

Llanelli Borough Council was awarded pounds 14.5m extensively to restore a valuable stretch of Welsh coastline and create a new coastal park. England's only stretch of magnesium limestone cliffs is to be restored and conserved with the help of pounds 4.5m of millennium money. Durham County Council is carrying out pounds 9.9m work on an area which has been damaged by the dumping of waste.

A 60ft observation tower will be the centrepiece of the redevelopment of the WildFowl and Wetlands Trust headquarters at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. The commission awarded the trust pounds 2.8m towards the pounds 5.6m project. And a new pounds 3.3m National Wildflower Centre is to be set up in Merseyside with the help of pounds 1.6m funding from the commission.