HC Deb 02 September 1998 vol 317 cc866-7W
Mr. Chope

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, (1) pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow), of 27 July 1998,Official Report, column 14, if he will list the amount of the contributions made by (i) British Telecom, (ii) BSkyB, (iii) Manpower, (iv) Tesco, (v) Marks and Spencer, (vi) British Airways and (vii) BAA plc; [54431]

(2) pursuant to his oral answer of 27 July 1998, Official Report, column 14, to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow), if he will list each private sector sponsor and the amount of the contribution; [54432]

(3) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member of Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) of 24 February 1998, Official Report, column 204, if he will list those companies which had made commitments coming up for detailed negotiation which are now sponsors and the amount of their sponsorship; [54434]

(4) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) of 24 February 1998, Official Report, column 204, if he will list those of the 40 potential sponsors who have now made contractual commitments to sponsorship. [54433]

Mr. Mandelson

[holding answer 31 July 1998] As announced by the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) in its press release on 24 February 1998, the total sponsorship support from these companies for the Millennium Experience is £58.8 million. Press releases were issued on the same day by British Telecom (BT), BSkyB, Manpower, and Tesco—the first four Founding Partner sponsors. BT's said that it was investing £12 million in the national Millennium programme", BSkyB's said that it will be committing a minimum of £l2 million to the project", Manpower's said that its president confirmed the £12 million", and Tesco's said that their total investment would be £12 million". British Airways and BAA together, as confirmed in the NMEC's February press release, are providing £10.8 million. Marks & Spencer was announced as the fifth Founding Partner on 1 June. The Millennium Experience project, and its cash budget, incorporates both the Dome at Greenwich and a linked programme of country-wide initiatives, activities, and events running prior to and during 2000. The Founding Partner and other sponsorships span both aspects of the Experience.

Others who have confirmed their support for the Millennium Experience are the Corporation of London, whose press notice on 24 February stated that its £6 million sponsorship is on the basis that it is matched by City business; GEC and BAe, who have both been supporters of the project since its early development phase in 1996. Additionally, Camelot are official ticket distributors through their Lottery terminals.

I cannot at this stage name other companies in sponsorship discussions with the NMEC, or the potential level of sponsorship support under discussion or negotiation in particular cases. I must respect the commercial confidentiality expected by the companies concerned where they do not wish, at this stage, to announce their involvement. To do otherwise would jeopardise the NMEC's negotiating position and, ultimately, the success of the project.