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Millennium Dome fails to hit fundraising target

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The Greenwich Millennium Dome organiser is still £50 million short of its fundraising target, despite claiming to have 'smashed through previous sponsorship records'.

With less than 500 days to go, the New Millennium Experience Company has raised only £100 million of its £150 million goal and is aiming to tie up £120 million by October. However, a spokesman said sponsors were keeping quiet in preparation for media launches towards the end of September.

Greenwich locals will be among the first to see inside the finished dome in 1999. nmec is arranging three open days for locals to wander through, with the aim that the flow of visitors will help highlight bottlenecks or teething problems.

Eva Jiricna's Spirit Zone is being finalised with ideas for the pavilion, but nothing has yet been tied down, according to Jiricna's office. nmec confirmed it had still to find a sponsor for the zone.

The Millennium Commission, which is pumping £4000 million into projects around the country, gave the dome its biggest grant of £399 million.Yet many other landmark projects are still chasing private funding. One example is the Earth Centre in Doncaster, which secured £40 million for its first phase, including an exhibition centre by Feilden Clegg Architects. But the scheme still needs a further £60 million of private money and grants to complete further stages.

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