Hi-tech bid for station site

April 28, 1995

The University of North London and the National Film and Television School made a joint bid this week for Millenium funds to turn derelict lands and buildings behind King's Cross station, London, into an information technology centre.

The Crossmillenia partnership includes British Telecom and the boroughs of Camden and Islington, and has National Freight Corporation support. It is bidding for Pounds 50 million of the Pounds 120 million needed to develop the site.

Jon Snow, the Channel Four newscaster, introducing the bid, described the site as the biggest hole in Europe. When converted a million visitors a year are expected to use high-tech advice centres and equipment.

University College London, City, Guildhall, East London and Westminster universities may also get involved.

The National Film and Television School, which is planning to move its campus from Beaconsfield to a listed Victorian warehouse on the site, says it is also attracted by the links with the university and BT.

Simon Mullan, a producer and tutor, said that the school's current site was too remote and most of its students who lived in London had to be bussed in.

UNL does not intend to have a campus on the site but rather a group of advice centres and learning facilities.

The Millenium fund, which expects to receive Pounds 1.6 billion from the National Lottery over the next five years, says that about 10 per cent of the 1,400 proposals it has received have some educational aspect.

The commission will announce a shortlist of around l00 projects in late May, successful projects in July, with the first grants in September.

The University of the Highlands and Islands project has this week lodged a Pounds 50 million bid with the Millenium Fund for new buildings across its network of further education colleges.

Another Millenium bid has been announced by a new group, the National Science Centre Educational Trust, which wants to build a National Science Centre at Dartford in Kent. Backers include the University of Greenwich.

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