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Friday, 19 June, 1998, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK
What does the future look like?
Hampden Park
Hampden Park, home of Scottish football, is being redeveloped at a cost of 46m.
There are several major construction projects in Britain designed to be ready by the year 2000, and some of them are funded by the Millennium Commission.

The best-known is the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, which is going up on a derelict peninsula on the banks of the Thames in south east London at a cost of 748m ($1,232m).

Eden Project
The Eden Project in Cornwall.
In March 1998, Portsmouth City Council will announce which of three designs it has chosen as the blueprint for a 500 foot (150m) tower which will be the centrepiece of the 85m ($140m) "renaissance" of the Gunwharf area of the old town.

Many of the other Millennium projects are little known outside their localities.

For example, how many people, outside of Leicestershire, are aware that a National Space Science Centre is being built in Leicester at a cost of 46.5m ($77m).

Other major projects include:

  • The Eden Project (a giant greenhouse) in Cornwall: 106m ($175m)
  • The Odyssey Project in Belfast: 90m ($148m)
  • University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness: 86m ($141m)
  • International Centre for Life in Newcastle-upon-Tyne: 54m ($89m)
  • The Deep (marine studies centre and aquarium) in Hull: 36.9m ($61m)
  • New Technopolis in Norwich: 61m ($100m)
  • Millennium Point in Birmingham: 111m ($182m)
  • Lowry Centre in Manchester: 96m ($158m)
  • The Earth Centre in Doncaster: 100m ($165m)
  • The Millennium Stadium (formerly Cardiff Arms Park): 114m ($187m)
  • Hampden Park football stadium in Glasgow: 46m ($76m)

Catching the public's imagination

Chris Clode, a spokesman for the Berkeley Group, which is building the Millennium Tower in Portsmouth, says the project has caught the public's imagination.

The Spinnaker tower in Portsmouth
The spinnaker design is the hot favourite locally.
Thousands of people attended a recent exhibition and 59% of them voted in favour of the spinnaker design for the tower, which is designed to reflect the city's yachting and sailing heritage.

A final decision is to be made within days by Portsmouth City Council.

He says: "When it is finished, some time in 2000, it will be accessible in the same way as the Eiffel tower or the Statue of Liberty."

The 24m ($39m) tower -- 9m ($14m) comes from the Millennium Commission -- will be built on the site of the former HMS Vernon naval base between Old Portsmouth and The Hard, where Nelson's flagship HMS Victory sits in a dry dock.

The Eden Project, being built in an old clay pit overlooking St Austell Bay in Cornwall, will cost 106m, of which 37m come from the Millennium Commission.

Greenhouse effects

Several futuristic greenhouses will contain plants from four different climates. Each will be nearly half a mile long and 200ft high - making them among the largest in the world.

Visitors will be able to travel through them, experiencing plants at first hand and learning of their importance in shaping human existence in the past and the possibilities for the future.

International Centre for Life
The International Centre for Life in Newcastle.
The Millennium Commission is providing exactly half the capital needed to build the National Space Science Centre in Leicester.

The developers say it will "provide the nation with an exciting and unique education and leisure facility based on space science."

The scheme comprises four key elements -- an Exhibition Centre, a Millennium Dome, the Challenger Learning Centre and a Research Centre.

It will be partly housed in a derelict overflow tank and will include a tower which will house real rockets.

Celebrating the arts

The 94m Lowry Centre in the artist's home town of Salford, Greater Manchester, is partly funded by a 15m Millennium Commission grant and a 41m Arts Council subsidy.

New Technopolis in Norwich
The centre of Norwich is to become New Technopolis.
The waterfront complex will include a 1,650 seat lyric theatre, a 400 seat flexible theatre, a gallery of LS Lowry's paintings, a children's "Hands On Gallery" and a National Industrial Centre for Virtual Reality.

Sports stadia often produce some of the most powerful and well known landmarks -- the San Siro in Milan and the Alfred McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield for example -- and the Millennium replacement for Cardiff Arms Park is set to become the jewel in the Welsh crown.

Being constructed at a total cost of 114m -- 46m come from the Millennium Commission -- the 75,000 seater stadium will have a retractable roof and all-year weather capacity.

Next door will be the Rugby Experience museum, a riverside walk and a new public plaza.

Earthquakes and volcanoes

The Dynamic Earth near Edinburgh will provide the world's first geological visitor centre.

Millennium Point in Birmingham
Millennium improvement on The Bull Ring.
The 33m interactive exhibition will reflect the creation and evolution of the planet and explain the facts behind earthquakes, volcanoes and meteorites.

On a similar theme is the 100m Earth Centre in Doncaster. The powers behind it say it will "establish a state-of-the-art world centre for environmental research and sustainable technology".

Two huge reinforced glass domes will cover the project, giving the impression of "two giant eyes".

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