Big Time forced to auction major New Year events

Some millennium celebrations in London, such as the Trafalgar Square Ice Rink and a party at Tower Bridge, are still seeking commercial sponsors - with less than 60 days to go until New Year’s Eve.

Some millennium celebrations in London, such as the Trafalgar

Square Ice Rink and a party at Tower Bridge, are still seeking

commercial sponsors - with less than 60 days to go until New Year’s

Eve.



Slow uptake by Britain’s blue-chip firms is forcing event organiser Big

Time to auction pounds 1m of unsold and extra packages.



These include a pounds 50,000 package to take over Tower Bridge for a

December 31 party and a pounds 50,000 sponsorship of the Trafalgar

Square ice rink for a week in December. Nestle is believed to be close

to signing a deal to sponsor the rink for three weeks.



Other packages on offer through the auction are sampling areas around

entertainment stages and a giant fun-fair on The Mall at pounds 5000

each. Branded 250ft kites above London bridges and branded river barges

are also available at pounds 5000 each. London First has set a deadline

of November 19 for bids.



The government is putting pounds 3m into the celebrations and has

charged Big Time with matching this in private-sector sponsorship. Big

Time is using the services of inward investment body London First and

sponsorship agency Eastside Consulting.



British Gas has been unveiled as the sponsor of Beacon Millennium, a

programme which involves the lighting of 3000 beacons across the

country.



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