§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received from Mr. PY Gerbeau regarding the operation of the Millennium Dome after 31 December. 
§ Ms Armstrong
Since the withdrawal of the bid from Nomura for the Dome in September, we have received numerous unsolicited expressions of interest from parties interested in procuring the Dome, including one from PY Gerbeau. These have all been outside the terms of the competition.
Within the context of the competition, the competition team has been continuing its discussions with Legacy plc, and in the light of progress the Government have now decided to grant Legacy preferred bidder status. Legacy plc have been awarded preferred bidder status because they have confirmed that they will resolve all outstanding contractual issues within an agreed timetable. Negotiations will continue, and if all goes well we expect to exchange contracts during February. Progress will be reviewed regularly.
English Partnerships will be working closely with Legacy plc to agree a masterplan for the Dome and associated land.
In addition, English Partnerships and the London Borough of Greenwich are working together, and are in discussion with the London Development Agency, to put in place a new partnership for the next stage of the regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula. This will build on the work done so far on the development of the Peninsula, including the Dome site, the Millennium Village, and retail and commercial investments, and the emerging development framework for East Greenwich Riverside.
The aim will be to work closely with local stakeholders, including private sector landowners, employers and residents, to establish and implement a new masterplan framework for the Peninsula. This will maintain the momentum established by the Millennium Experience and the enormous improvements in transport infrastructure that have been made, maximising private sector investment and regeneration benefits for the Peninsula. I have asked English Partnerships to consider, in their discussions with other parties, the possible establishment of an urban regeneration company, following the principles set out in our White Paper published last week.
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