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George Street Millennium madness

What better way to mark the new millennium than with a landmark building? Every town the length and breadth of the British Isles seems to have its own construction planned to celebrate the year 2000.

The Millennium Commission's Lottery hand-outs have answered the wildest dreams of museums, local authorities and sporting bodies around the country, not to mention their legions of consultants and PR advisers. Buckets of dosh are being thrown at projects which would normally only be the twisted night time fantasies of crazed town planners, dusty librarians and the pot-bellied chairmen of waning football clubs.

If they can do it, then so can George Street. I have decided - albeit late in the day - to put forward my own big money project.

In drawing up this proposal, inspiration has been gleaned from projects already on the go, reproducing their winning formulae to create what I think will be the quintessential millennium 'experience'.

So it is with great pleasure and pride that I introduce GS2000 - the New Millennium Sensation.

Of course, choosing the right procurement strategy is the key to ensuring GS2000 will be a big success. Taking first things first, the budget has been fixed. To give the project credibility and a good PR profile, I reckon it should weigh in at around £500M (giving myself scope to 'value engineer' the cost down to £2M should match funding prove difficult to get).

With that settled I have moved on to the next most important phase - what the project should be. What I have in mind are exciting plans for a vast glazed canopy located on land kindly donated by myself at the bottom of George Street's glorious garden.

This magnificent landmark structure will be designed by a team of engineers from top structural consultant Bureau Stranglehold. Also helping out will be the people's architect Lord Ted '321' Rogers.

Next step is deciding what will go inside. In essence GS2000 is an artificial indoor environment eco-centre. It will be a vital educational and recreational resource for the 21st century, with an Internet and IT-focused outreach programme targeting an audience of millions. It will be an exciting landmark for the suburbs of south east London, firmly establishing them as a sprawling centre of cultural, social and economic excellence.

There has been much consideration of the specific contents of the GS2000 canopy. Unfortunately, it is not possible to reveal too many details due to commercial confidentiality.

But what I can say is that the canopy will accommodate the National Museum of Greenery & Vegetation, focusing on local flora, mapping its evolution over the last 2,000 years. Exhibits will be irrigated with rainwater dripping through specially designed 'cracks' in the glazed facade.

Also anticipated is a special display - Plant of the Future. A team of expert botanists is currently determining exactly what Lewisham's dandelions will look like in the year 2025.

I plan to approach Spear & Jackson for sponsorship of a special 'Tools Through Time' hands-on exhibit, which could entertain and enlighten young and old alike with interactive displays of forking and pruning through the ages.

GS2000 should be open by autumn 2003; not because I anticipate problems getting the work finished in time, but because people will have forgotten all about the millennium by then and it will be ripe for a revival.

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