HL Deb 18 November 1997 vol 583 cc70-1WA
Lord Sefton of Garston

asked Her Majesty's Government:

On what date it was decided to proceed with the construction of the millennium dome; on what date the design was approved; and on what date manufacture of the components was begun, and where.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

The Cabinet decided to proceed with the New Millennium Experience on 19 June 1997 following a review of progress on the project. A planning application had been submitted to the local planning authority—the London Borough of Greenwich—in October 1996 for a package of proposals including the dome design. Outline planning permission was granted in January 1997 and final approval was granted on 20 June 1997.

A number of manufacturers are involved in the production of components for the dome. The first contracts were let in March 1997. Kellers of Coventry are responsible for piling work; Watsons for the fabrication and erection of dome steelwork involving workers at sites in Bolton, Bristol, and under subcontract in Doncaster; and Birdair of Buffalo, USA, are responsible for the supply of PTFE-coated glass-fibre, which will be assembled on site by a predominantly British workforce.