Fingers crossed for millenium designers

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I’m glad to see that you raised the issue about funding for designers working on Lottery projects (DW 20 September). This has concerned me for a while.

The Millennium Commission is obviously taking a strong stance, saying so definitely that it is not responsible for paying designers’ fees. So the responsibility falls – once again – on designers to watch their backs, as surely no one else will do it for them.

The amount of speculative work currently taking place must be phenomenal, and the design profession cannot but be out of pocket if any clouds arise.

The commission – and the other Lottery bodies, in particular the Arts Council – have promised to part-fund a multitude of projects needing design skills. One of the most important criteria for a project’s eligibility to receive its money is the proof that it can come up with the other half of the funding. I’m sure Feilden Clegg is not the only consultancy which has banked on this promise and then started to worry.

What happens if the projects just can’t come up with the goods? Will they fall by the wayside or get their funding cut and emerge as diminished shadows of their intentions?

I only hope the talented people who are practically donating their skills at the moment do receive the remuneration they deserve.

Hopefully the millennium projects will follow the lead of Greenwich, which so nearly lost its chance to become the site of the festival through funding problems, but made it at the eleventh hour. Fingers crossed as the countdown begins.

Scott Leask

London N1

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