National gallery of all 360,000 listed buildings will go online

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The Independent Online
PHOTOGRAPHS OF every one of Britain's 360,000 listed buildings, including sheds, pigsties and lavatories, are to go on to the Internet as part of a multi-million-pound Millennium Festival announced yesterday.

Lottery fund distributors have pooled pounds 100m for local and regional millennium projects across the country throughout next year. The festival is expected to provide the largest programme of celebrations mounted in Britain.

Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, announced pounds 53.7m in grants for more than 1,000 year-long schemes, including a radio station called Youth FM, a nationwide pounds 2.5m youth sports tournament and a children's international environment conference.

"There is a celebration for everywhere and a celebration for everyone," Mr Smith said at the International Conference Centre in Birmingham. From April, applications will be invited for grants of up to pounds 5,000 each.

The listed-building photographic project, costing pounds 3m, will take several years and, as the National Monuments Record's (NMR) Images of England web site, will become the largest free on-line picture library in the world. Volunteers from the Royal Photographic Society will begin taking pictures in August.

Nigel Clubb, director of the NMR, said: "Images of England is about the future, not just preserving the past. We have harnessed the latest technology to bring together an extraordinary photographic record in a format which is accessible to all."

A pounds 1.7m grant was awarded to an arts festival for Birmingham involving more than 2,000 events in parks, galleries, cafes, cathedrals, mosques, museums, nurseries and nightclubs.

A pounds 55,000 grant went to Millennium Wildlife, an exhibition celebrating the diversity of wildlife that will tour Northern Ireland, and a group aiming to follow in the footsteps of prehistoric man by transporting a four-ton bluestone from west Wales to Stonehenge won pounds 100,000.