NEWS: O’Connor hired for Millennium

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.

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

UK.



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.



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