Catalogue description Millennium Commission: Grants Database (PROFESA)

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Details of MM 4
Reference: MM 4
Title: Millennium Commission: Grants Database (PROFESA)

The Millennium Commission Grants database PROFESA provides details of grants awarded to all the organisations supported through the Millennium Awards Scheme, which allowed individual people to benefit directly from a National Lottery grant; the Millennium Projects scheme; and the Millennium Festivals scheme. PROFESA contains basic information about all the awards, projects and festivals supported by the Millennium Commission, including applicant, project outline, cost, and progress.

The contents of the database were made available online. Users were able to make searches through the Millennium Commission website ( and view summary details of projects, including images. These queries were sourced directly from the PROFESA database and its image library.

The content covers three main areas: Awards, Projects, and Festivals.

The Millennium Awards Scheme distributed small Lottery grants called Millennium Awards. Since 1996, these were awarded to individual people for projects which benefited themselves and their community.

Millennium Projects were the most visible part of the Commission's work, including large-scale buildings and environmental schemes accounting for over £1.3 billion of National Lottery money. The Millennium Commission only had enough funds to support a tenth of the applications it received. The Commission's contribution represented up to 50% of the cost of each project and the balance had to be raised by the projects. At the time of completion, there were over 215 Millennium Projects on around 3,000 sites throughout the United Kingdom.

Millennium Festivals 1999-2001: The Millennium Commission wanted to help communities celebrate the new millennium. Working with other Lottery distributors it created a Millennium Festival fund of over £100 million. The year 2000 saw over 2,000 Millennium Commission funded festivals taking place. An impact study on the Millennium Festival carried out in 2001 highlighted the positive impact of the Millennium Festival in the United Kingdom.

The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.

Date: 1994-2006

Hardware: The client hardware was Dell Optiplex; the server hardware was Dell Power Edge.

Operating System: Client: Dell Optiplex running MS Windows 2000 Professional. Server: Dell Power Edge running MS Windows 2000. The system comprised four modules:

  • The Client module containing the operating system design.
  • The Server module containing data files .
  • The Reporter module used to run reports and queries.
  • The Reporter_Server containing reports and queries available to users.

Application Software: Microsoft Access 2003

User Interface: Each user of the system had a local copy of Client (and where appropriate a local copy of Reporter). Users' profiles defined which of the three sections they could access.

Logical structure and schema: PROFESA was a relational database system. The core data was held in the table MAIN which contained a single record format for all record types. Any parent type could generate child records. Parent and child records were contained in the same table, differentiated by the field MAINid. 47 secondary data tables, supported by 14 link files, comprised the remaining structure.

How data was originally captured and validated: Data was originally entered and updated by Millennium Commission staff. Each user of the system was assigned a profile which determined which of the three sections of the system they could access (Awards, Festivals or Projects), and whether their access was read-only or update. All facilities were accessed through a single main switchboard screen. Further details on data management are available in the PROFESA User Manuals, which can be found by way of the dataset documentation catalogue.

The Grants Database was dynamic, in the sense that updated information about grants could be entered on the system via the regular updates received by the Millennium Commission from the Award Partners, thereby overwriting data previously received.

Related material:

The National Archives holds records of the Millennium Commission in MM series including Minutes and papers from 1994 in MM1; a copy of the website in MM2; and case files from 1993 in MM5. Two related datasets MM3 and PF1 contain the Millennium Commission Awards Scheme Database and the National Lottery Awards Database

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: PROFESA
Former reference in The National Archives: CRDA/66
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Millennium Commission, 1993-2006

Physical description: 2 datasets and documentation
Restrictions on use: The Grants Database is open, with the exception of certain contact fields which may represent a data protection risk if exposed. These fields are closed for 86 years under Section 40 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The dataset is Crown Copyright; copies may be made for private study and research purposes only. Registered under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

In 2010 the United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets

Custodial history: Originally transferred from the Millennium Commission. The United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets (UK NDAD) then held the dataset until 2010 when it was transferred to The National Archives (TNA).
Selection and destruction information: Final form of whole database in order to document full range of Commission's funding activities.
Accruals: This series is not accruing
Publication note:

The Millennium Commission produced numerous publications about their work which are held at Their collection includes: impact studies, the Commission's annual reports, and copies of Starpeople Magazine. See also Millennium Festival Impact Study, by Jura Consultants and Gardiner & Theobald, (2001).

Unpublished finding aids:

Extent of documentation: 58 documents, Dates of creation of documentation: 2001-2005

Administrative / biographical background:

The Grants database was owned and transferred by the Millennium Commission. The Commission was established in 1993 by the National Lottery Act. It convened for the first time in February 1994 and was one of the bodies that distributed proceeds from the National Lottery. Unlike the other distributing bodies, the Commission was created as a temporary organisation, with a specific short-term objective aimed at funding projects to celebrate the end of the second millennium and the start of the third.

The Commission was created and regulated by the Government, but classed as an independent body. The Millennium Commissioners were individuals entrusted with the core decision-making powers subject to the ongoing advice offered by the Commission staff. Commission staff assisted projects throughout the grant-giving process by monitoring progress and offering guidance. Commissioners were in turn updated about the ongoing achievements of individual projects.

In August 2001, the National Lottery ceased to distribute income to the Millennium Commission under the terms of an Order approved by both Houses of Parliament in December 2000. Up until its dissolution on 30 November 2006, the Millennium Commission continued to distribute grants and complete projects in addition to fulfilling its role of protecting the legacy of the millennium celebrations.

The Millennium Commission allocated over £1.3 billion in grants of up to 50% of the cost of over 200 projects on nearly 3,000 sites throughout the United Kingdom. Schemes ranged in size from such things as the Eden Project in Cornwall and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to small, community-based developments such as village halls and local parks.

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