Roberts recruited to set up London Olympic trust

John Plummer

Erica Roberts, former chief executive of GuideStar, is poised to return to her previous employer, lottery distributor the Millennium Commission, to set up a trust that will issue grants to projects with a London Olympic theme.

The commission is planning to announce the formation of the trust on 29 March and refused to confirm any details about it, including the return of Roberts to the organisation on a short-term contract.

Roberts was hired to lead GuideStar on the basis of her experience in helping to set up the Millennium Commission in 1994 and, more recently, establishing the commission's £200m Millennium Awards scheme.

Mike O'Connor, the current director of the commission, sent an email to commission staff stating: "I am glad to be able to tell you that our former colleague, Erica Roberts, will be joining us." When Third Sector approached him he did not deny sending the email but refused to confirm her appointment.

"Ms Roberts does not work for the Millennium Commission any longer," he said. "But if she was available and willing to help us in this important and exciting endeavour, we would be delighted because she has relevant skills and we rate her abilities very highly."

Roberts was unavailable for comment.

The trust will have a number of objectives, including promoting the Olympic ideal, strengthening the UK's skills base, offering young people and diverse communities the chance to participate in the delivery of the games and leaving a legacy for future generations.

The commission was set up to spend £2bn of National Lottery money on cultural, sporting and environmental building projects. It is due to wind up in September.

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