Millennium Commission wound up as body is created to distribute Olympic cultural funds.
All remaining funds in the coffers of the Millennium Commission will be handed over to a new consortium of charities, business groups and public bodies to distribute as part of the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The consortium, Legacy Trust UK, was selected from 11 bids and will co-ordinate and fund cultural and sporting activity associated with the Games across the country. A total of £40m has been made available to the Trust including £24m from the Millennium Commission. Arts Council England (ACE) will contribute £5m of its Lottery funds for the new Trust to dedicate to arts activity; contributions will also be made by the Big Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Trust is expected to become active early in 2007, at which point funding programmes will be established.
Legacy Trust UK, which will be an independent body complementary to the Games themselves, will work to promote the Olympic and Paralympic ideals celebrating mind, body and spirit, and will aim to encourage a joined-up approach across sport, physical activity, culture and education. The consortium comprises the City of London, Business in the Community, East London Business Alliance, TimeBank and Yorkshire Forward, and was selected on the strength of its alliance of public and private bodies, as well as its commitment to the nations and regions. The Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward, will take the lead in encouraging activity across the whole of Britain in the build-up to the Olympics.
ACE Chairman, Sir Christopher Frayling, said, The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a terrific opportunity for us to show the world the excitement and diversity of the arts in the UK, but we must start involving all communities now to make sure that the arts can take full advantage of the Games. We wholeheartedly welcome this initiative and will work very closely with it over the coming years.
Established in 1993, the Millennium Commission was set up as a temporary body to distribute funds to projects which celebrated the turn of the millennium. In total it distributed over £2bn in funds to projects including Wales Millennium Centre and the Eden Project in Cornwall, as well as supporting over 2,000 festivals to celebrate the millennium. It stopped receiving income from the National Lottery in August 2001. Richard Caborn MP, Chair of the Millennium Commission and Sports Minister, said, The Millennium Commissions last act as a National Lottery Distributor will be to help lay the foundations of a nationwide programme of cultural and sporting endeavour building up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I can think of no better use for our remaining Lottery money. The creation of a new charitable trust offers the greatest potential for the funding to be used in imaginative and innovative ways to make a real difference to communities throughout the UK.