2000 design win fuels site battle

Imagination – the newly announced designer and operator of the 200m Millennium Festival for the year 2000 – is this week developing plans for the potential site at Greenwich.

Imagination had focused its bid on Greenwich’s main rival, Birmingham, but the Millennium Commission also wants proposals for hosting the Imagination-designed festival in South East London.

The new plans will be delivered to the commission in two weeks’ time, after which it will decide whether Birmingham or Greenwich gets to host the celebrations.

Imagination defeated its rival, the M2000 consortium, last week. M2000’s designs, by Neal Potter Design Associates, Ideas, Event Communications and The Principals, may be used “in some other form”, says a spokeswoman for The Principals.

Imagination director Ralph Ardill confirms that it presented “an outline scheme for Greenwich” as part of its bid.

M2000, which targeted Greenwich, had “made reference to transferral possibilities, but did not actually come up with any outline designs”, according to a commission spokeswoman.

Imagination’s design is based around a central concept, explains Ardill. “We started with the idea and took it from there,” he says, adding: “It’s the most significant project we have ever undertaken”.

Imagination is now researching opportunities for sponsorship and incremental revenue in Greenwich. The Millennium Commission is expected to contribute half of the festival’s costs, and the remainder has to be generated by the operator.

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