The Millennium Commission, the body set up to distribute pounds 1.7
billion of National Lottery funds to celebrate the year 2000, has
appointed Michael O’Connor to head up its public relations activities.
Reporting to chief executive Jennifer Page, O’Connor joined the
Commission as director of policy and corporate affairs at the start of
this month. He heads a staff of 15, with responsibility for running the
secretariat and administering external affairs, including relations with
the media and Parliament.
The job also carries responsibilities for developing policy on the
distribution of Lottery funds, including the launch of the Millennium
Awards scheme later this month, which will give up to pounds 100 million
to individuals and charities involved in community projects around the
O’Connor replaces Heather Wilkinson who left the commission in March to
join accountancy firm Deloitte Touche. He was previously a director at
Consumers International, the consumer watchdog federation, and is a
former director of the Coronary Prevention Group.
The Millennium Commission has only recently emerged from a fresh round
of controversy. In February it was slammed by Labour MP Robin Corbett
and Birmingham council and business leaders for choosing Greenwich as
the site for the Millennium Exhibition. They claimed that the Commission
had succumbed to pressure from London-based ministers to stage the event
in the capital.
PAn unnamed UK company is holding discussions with the Government over
plans to sponsor the Millennium Exhibition. The Millennium Commission
has agreed to spend pounds 200 million of National Lottery cash on the
project but is looking for private sector finance to make up the rest of
the pounds 700 million costs.