Iconic Derry-Londonderry Millennium Forum venue ‘put up for sale’
4th January 2014
The National Lottery funded Millennium Forum arts venue in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, has been ‘put up for sale’. An advertisement via international property consultancy Knight Frank, released today, shows the venue for sale with a guide price of ‘£priceless’.
However, employees and visitors of the venue need not panic - the property particulars are, in fact, a fake designed for the new National Lottery ‘Just Imagine’ campaign. The campaign is using a range of techniques to encourage the public to consider an alternative reality of what might have been if the National Lottery had not funded more than 420,000 arts, sport, heritage and voluntary projects across the UK.
The National Lottery partnered with Knight Frank to create the advertisement and selected the Millennium Forum in Derry-Londonderry due to the fact that it received £7.7 million of National Lottery funding towards its total build cost in 1996/97. In addition, a number of National Lottery funded productions, such as the recent ‘Teenage Kicks – The Punk Musical’, have been performed at the venue.
The Millennium Forum, which opened in 2001, has since established itself as a leading arts venue in Northern Ireland. The venue was the first purpose built theatre in Derry-Londonderry, with a seating capacity of one thousand, and also boasts the largest theatre stage in Northern Ireland. It has also won a number of architectural awards including a Civic Trust Awards and a RICS Award for Excellence in the Built Environment in Northern Ireland.
Vicki Kennedy, Director of The National Lottery Promotions Unit, said: “Our fake ‘for sale’ advert is one of 31 fun and thought-provoking pieces being released through our Just Imagine campaign in January to help demonstrate the life-changing difference that National Lottery funding makes. National Lottery players have now raised an incredible £31 billion for the arts, sport, heritage and voluntary sectors. The National Lottery is extremely proud of its funding for venues like the Millennium Forum in Derry-Londonderry’s and, by working with our funding distributors, such as the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, we have helped make our cultural industry the envy of the world. In fact, £2.35 million was invested by the National Lottery in Derry-Londonderry’s year as UK City of Culture. ”
Released on Twitter (@lottogoodcauses #JustImagine) and Facebook today, the fake property advert is the fourth in a series of 31 items to feature through January – one for each day and each £1 billion.
The Just Imagine campaign will run through the first four months of the year, with further phases including an original animation movie telling the story of funding, and other “positively disruptive” digital techniques, according to a National Lottery spokesperson.
To enable people to learn more about National Lottery funded projects in their area, the National Lottery has launched a ‘Good Cause Finder’. To see projects in your area, or to find out more about Just Imagine January, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk
Notes to editors
For press enquiries relating to the Just Imagine campaign:
Jim Williams firstname.lastname@example.org 07814 068 349
Alex Bake email@example.com 07552 289 290
For press enquiries relating to the National Lottery:
Michael Thompson, Head of Media at the National Lottery Promotions Unit, on 07734 295745.
Twitter: @lottogoodcauses #JustImagine
About the National Lottery Promotions Unit
The National Lottery Promotions Unit (NLPU) is responsible for raising awareness of Lottery funding to Good Causes. Amongst other initiatives, NLPU manages the National Lottery Awards.
National Lottery funding is awarded through 12 distributing bodies: Big Lottery Fund, UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport NI, Sportscotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, Arts Council NI, Creative Scotland and the British Film Institute.
Over £31 billion has been awarded to good cause projects across the UK since the launch of the National Lottery back in 1994. Currently, £33 million of good cause funding is raised every week by National Lottery players.