Millennium Exhibition may be scaled down

The design of the Millennium Exhibition may suffer if the operating company Millennium Central is forced to scale down the event to meet its budget.

The funding of the Greenwich exhibition was still in doubt as Design Week went to press following the Millennium Commission’s rejection of the operating company’s 700m budget and business plan last week.

While the commission has confirmed the exhibition will go ahead, it is yet to finalise the means to deliver the event “within an acceptable budget”, says a statement from the commission.

Shadow heritage secretary Jack Cunningham is also concerned over the viability of the budget, and does not want a Labour government to have to prop up the scheme with extra Lottery money.

Millennium Central was hoping for a decision by today, when Parliament goes into recess.

Imagination’s designs for the world time zone were well received at the meeting of commissioners last week, when the designs got their first airing.

However, there is speculation that the consultancy’s plan for 12 time zones housed beneath the dome may have to be modified if the event’s brief changes to fit the existing budget.

There are also doubts over the 41m earmarked for 72 provincial schemes to tie in with the exhibition, although they are less likely to be affected by any restructuring.

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