Space centre gets millennium backing

York exhibition design group Ideas is to help prepare the National Space Science Centre in Leicester for take-off, following a 23m grant from the Millennium Commission.

The consultancy, part of the Northcross group, worked from the outset with the consortium behind the project and with architect Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, including work on the bidding process for Lottery cash.

The centre is backed by NASA and will provide education and entertainment, as well as a research centre run by the University of Leicester. Visitors will have direct access to the centre’s own satellite.

Meanwhile, Norfolk & Norwich has also been successful in its search for funding, receiving a grant of up to 30m for its New Technopolis project based in Norwich. It plans to develop a “centre of knowledge” featuring a millennium library, a business and learning centre and a heritage attraction telling the story of Norwich over the last 1000 years.

Information technology will play a major role, with public access to the Internet and CD-ROMs central to the activities. Architect Michael Hopkins & Partners has created the building to house the centre, but no interior or graphic designers have yet been appointed.

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