Millennium Commission

The Millennium Commission, a United Kingdom public body, was set up to celebrate the turn of the millennium. It used funding raised through the UK National Lottery to assist communities in marking the close of the second millennium and celebrating the start of the third. The body was wound up in 2006.

The Millennium Commission logo


Set up in 1993 by the National Lottery etc. Act 1993, the Commission was an independent non-departmental public body. Commissioners were appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister; the Chair of the Commission was, for most of its life, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and for most of its life a second government minister was also a Commissioner. During Tessa Jowell's tenure as Chair the second Minister was Richard Caborn, as Minister for Sport, who preceded Jowell in the department by one day, and who left the department contemporaneously (when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister).


The Commission was wound up in December 2006 and its role was transferred to the Big Lottery Fund.[1]

Examples of projects funded


There were initially nine commissioners – two ministers, one appointed by the opposition, and six independents. The number of commissioners was reduced to five as the work of the commission decreased. The final members were:

Previous commissioners


  1. ^ The National Lottery Act 2006, section 16(1)(b); the National Lottery Distributors Dissolution Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/2915), articles 1(2) and 2 (as read with article 1(1) of the Big Lottery Fund (Prescribed Expenditure) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/3202))
  2. ^ "Public engagement - Discontinued schemes". Wellcome Trust. Retrieved 28 February 2016.

External links

Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Science Centre (formerly known as Sensation) is a science centre located in Dundee, Scotland, and a part of the Scottish Science Centres Network. It is a registered non-profit organisation that is funded by the public and donations from local corporate sponsors.

The interactive exhibits focus mainly on the life sciences, and in particular on the senses. There is also a focus on robotics, and a practical exploration of science learning. Daily shows include: Keyhole Surgery, Science on the Spot, MindBall, Looking for Life Planetarium show and Solar System show.

Dundee Science Centre is also a corporate venue and a HMIE-inspected resource for science learning and public engagement. The centre hosts school groups, uniformed groups and also birthday parties.

There is an in-house cafe (Infusion) and a gift shop, stocking many science and educational products.

Dundee Science Centre is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

As one of the Millennium Commission projects, it opened in July 2000 at the cost of around £5 million.

Earth Centre, Doncaster

The Earth Centre, Doncaster was intended to "establish a world centre for sustainable development promoting the best environmental and sustainable practice" and opened in 1999 with funding from the Millennium Commission in Conisbrough, Metropolitan borough of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. It has since closed its doors after going bankrupt in 2004.

Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in central Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The lift is named after Falkirk, the town in which it is located. It reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s. It opened in 2002 as part of the Millennium Link project.

The plan to regenerate central Scotland's canals and reconnect Glasgow with Edinburgh was led by British Waterways with support and funding from seven local authorities, the Scottish Enterprise Network, the European Regional Development Fund, and the Millennium Commission. Planners decided early on to create a dramatic 21st-century landmark structure to reconnect the canals, instead of simply recreating the historic lock flight.

The wheel raises boats by 24 metres (79 ft), but the Union Canal is still 11 metres (36 ft) higher than the aqueduct which meets the wheel. Boats must also pass through a pair of locks between the top of the wheel and the Union Canal. The Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world, and one of two working boat lifts in the United Kingdom, the other being the Anderton Boat Lift.

Flowers Wood

Flowers Wood is a community woodland near Ilmington in Warwickshire, England. It covers a total area of 1.67 hectares (4.13 acres). It is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust. It was one of 200 "Woods on Your Doorstep" created by the Woodland Trust to mark the year 2000 in conjunction with the Millennium Commission, the Forestry Commission and the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.

Heather Couper

Prof Heather Anita Couper, CBE, BSc, DSc (Hon), DLitt (Hon), FInstP, CPhys, FRAS is a British astronomer, broadcaster and science populariser. After studying astrophysics at the University of Leicester and researching clusters of galaxies at Oxford University, Couper was appointed Senior Planetarium lecturer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. She subsequently hosted two major series on Channel 4 television – The Planets and The Stars – as well as making many TV guest appearances. On radio, Couper has presented the award-winning programme Britain’s Space Race as well as the 30-part series Cosmic Quest for BBC Radio 4. Couper served as President of the British Astronomical Association from 1984 to 1986, and is Astronomy Professor in perpetuity at Gresham College, London. She served on the Millennium Commission, for which she was appointed a CBE in 2007. Asteroid 3922 Heather is named in her honour.

Iford, East Sussex

Iford is a village and civil parish in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. The village is located two miles (3.2 km) south of Lewes. The parish lies on slopes of the South Downs in the valley of the River Ouse.

London River Services

London River Services Limited is a division of Transport for London (TfL), which manages passenger transport—leisure-oriented tourist services and commuter services—on the River Thames in London.

It does not own or operate any boats but licenses the services of operators.River service had been a common means of transport in London for centuries, but died off in the early 1900s, as transportation was enhanced (and river traffic somewhat blocked) with a proliferation of bridges and tunnels. With these numerous north-south crossings of the Thames, which is generally no more than 300m wide as it runs through central London, the revival of river boat services in London therefore mostly travel east or west along the Thames rather than across it; the only major cross-river ferry services are to be found further downstream where the river is wider.

The decision to revive London's river service network moved forward in 1997 with the launch of “Thames 2000”, a £21-million project (£38 million today) to regenerate the River Thames in time for the Millennium Celebrations and create new passenger transport services on the Thames. While the service is not as extensive as those of Hong Kong or Sydney, it has been growing: in 2007, more than 0.7 million commuters travelled by river on the Thames Clippers service, one of the numerous operators on the system; in 2013 the Thames Clippers service had grown to 3.3 million, as it had become more integrated into the tube and bus ticketing network; in 2014 their figure was 3.8 million; in 2015 it was forecasted that their ridership would increase to 4.3 million by 2016, supported by the addition of new Clipper boats. By 2018, there were 21 different operators carrying daily commuter, leisure, charter, or sightseeing passengers to various combinations of the 33 piers on the system.

Millennium Bridge, Glasgow

The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge over the River Clyde in the city of Glasgow, built as part of the millennium celebrations and funded by the Millennium Commission. The Bridge links the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre with the Glasgow Science Centre and Pacific Quay development to the south.

The bridge was opened to the public in 2002.

Millennium Link

The Millennium Link is one of the biggest engineering projects ever undertaken by British Waterways. The Union Canal and the Forth & Clyde Canal were originally joined by a flight of locks. The Millennium Link project replaced the locks with a boat lift, the Falkirk Wheel.

The project launch was in October 1994, and it received a grant of £32 million from the Millennium Commission; the total cost of the project was £78 million.

Work started in 1999.

Millennium Square, Leeds

Millennium Square is a large city square in the Civic Quarter of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was Leeds' flagship project to mark the year 2000, and was jointly funded by Leeds City Council and the Millennium Commission. Total cost of production was £12 million.

Millennium Stadium

The Millennium Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm y Mileniwm; known since 2016 as the Principality Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm Principality) for sponsorship reasons), is the national stadium of Wales. Located in Cardiff, it is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has also held Wales national football team games. Initially built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup, it has gone on to host many other large-scale events, such as the Tsunami Relief Cardiff concert, the Super Special Stage of Wales Rally Great Britain, the Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain and various music concerts. It also hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped.

The stadium is owned by Millennium Stadium plc, a subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). The architects were Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture. The structural engineers were WS Atkins and the building contractor was Laing. The total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, of which the Millennium Commission funded £46 million.The Millennium Stadium opened in June 1999 and its first major event was an international rugby union match on 26 June 1999, when Wales beat South Africa in a test match by 29–19 before a crowd of 29,000. With a total seating capacity of 74,500, it is the third-largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham. It is also the second-largest stadium in the world with a fully retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature. Listed as a category four stadium by UEFA, the stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, which took place on 3 June 2017. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Principality Building Society that saw the stadium renamed as the "Principality Stadium" from early 2016.

Ribble Link

The Millennium Ribble Link is a Linear Water Park and new navigation which links the once-isolated Lancaster Canal in Lancashire, England to the River Ribble. It was opened in July 2002.

Scottish Seabird Centre

The Scottish Seabird Centre is a conservation and education charity, and visitor attraction in North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland. Opened by Charles, Prince of Wales in 2000 and funded by the Millennium Commission, the showpiece of the centre is the interactive live cameras on the Firth of Forth islands. These are controlled by visitors to the Discovery Centre. The cameras are on islands including the Bass Rock, the world's largest colony of Northern gannets, and the Isle of May National Nature Reserve.

The Deep (aquarium)

The Deep is a public aquarium situated at Sammy's Point, at the confluence of the River Hull and the Humber Estuary in Hull, England. It opened in March 2002.

Billed as "the world's only submarium", the tanks contain thousands of sea creatures (including seven species of shark), 2,500,000 litres (550,000 imp gal; 660,000 US gal) of water and 87 tonnes (96 short tons; 86 long tons) of salt housed in a building designed by Sir Terry Farrell and built as part of the UK National Lottery's Millennium Commission project.

The Deep is also a landmark centre for marine research. Staff marine biologists look after the animals in The Deep's collection as well as carrying out research into the marine environment. In 2013, the aquarium was voted the best family place to visit in Hull.[9]

The Deep is a charitable public aquarium dedicated to increasing people's enjoyment and understanding of the world's oceans.

The Lowry

The Lowry is a theatre and gallery complex at Salford Quays, Salford, Greater Manchester, England. It is named after the early 20th century painter L. S. Lowry, known for his paintings of industrial scenes in North West England. The complex was officially opened on 12 October 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II.

The Rum Story

The Rum Story is a visitor attraction and museum in Whitehaven, Cumbria, England. It presents the story of the rum trade and the creation of rum. It is located in an original 1785 trading shop and warehouses.

The Rum Story was started with United Kingdom National Lottery funding from the Millennium Commission and opened in May 2000. It was voted Cumbria Tourism's Small Visitor Attraction in 2007.

The Jefferson family, wine merchants, imported wine and spirits for over two centuries until 1998. Their story is covered by the Rum Story.

Thornbury, West Yorkshire

Thornbury is a district on the eastern edge of Bradford, in West Yorkshire, England on the border with the City of Leeds and located in the Bradford Moor ward and in the Bradford East parliamentary constituency.

Thornbury is contiguous with Pudsey – part of the City of Leeds conurbation and borders Laisterdyke, and Fagley (Eccleshill Ward).

Westminster Millennium Pier

Westminster Millennium Pier is a pier on the River Thames, in the City of Westminster in London, UK. It is operated by London River Services and served by various river transport and cruise operators. It is located next to Westminster Bridge on the north bank of the Thames, and is close to one of London's most prominent landmarks, Big Ben.

Winchester Science Centre

Winchester Science Centre (previously known as INTECH) is a hands-on, interactive, science and technology centre located in Morn Hill, just outside the city of Winchester in Hampshire, England. Opened in 2002 after major grants from amongst others the Millennium Commission, IBM, SEEDA and Hampshire County Council it replaced an existing facility in a more functional building in Winchester.The centre houses over 100 activities, all of which link in with the National Curriculum for schools. During term time it is used mainly by local schools and days out, while at week ends and holidays it attracts a wider audience.

The dome is now a state-of-the-art digital planetarium seating 176.

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