§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when an announcement will be made on the future of the Dome; and what the monthly cost of the Dome is to the Exchequer. 
§ Ms Keeble
On-going market testing is exploring all avenues, and on the basis of professional advice we are in discussion with a small number of serious contenders. To reveal details of the discussions would not be conducive to a successful conclusion and would be against the public interest. The aim is to secure a sale as quickly as possible, consistent with value for money, securing a worthwhile and sustainable future for the Dome and a deliverable outcome.
From 1 July 2001, when the lease of the New Millennium Experience Company ended, English Partnerships, the Government's regeneration agency, has been incurring an average of £240,000 per month on Dome maintenance and management related costs. English Partnerships also expects to incur expenditure in the order of £9.75 million this year on decommissioning the Dome contents in preparation for a future use and about £1.7 million in relation to the current sale process. Any money spent on these will be recovered from sale proceeds so the cost will not fall to the taxpayer.