§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement about the future of the Millennium Dome; and when he expects to be able to stop putting public money into the project. 
§ Mr. McNulty
English Partnerships (EP) took over full responsibility for the Dome in July 2001. It will remain responsible for the Dome, and will continue to pay for its upkeep, until the commercial deal between EP and Meridian Delta Ltd (MDL) becomes unconditional. EP and MDL signed contracts on 29 May 2002, to develop much of the Greenwich Peninsula, including a new use for the Dome. The deal is conditional primarily on securing a planning permission satisfactory to the contracting parties.
On 23 December 2002, MDL, EP, Anschutz Entertainment Group and Quintain Estates and Development submitted a planning application to the London Borough of Greenwich (LBG), for a 26,000 capacity arena inside the Dome, with associated facilities, and a new masterplan covering 190 acres of the Greenwich Peninsula.
LBGs Planning Committee considered the planning application on 16 April 2003 and resolved unanimously that it is minded to grant permission subject to a number of conditions and resolution of section 106 negotiations. The next stage, as part of the normal planning process, will be for LBG to refer the application to the Mayor and First Secretary of State.
As the application is going through the statutory planning process it i s not possible to say when the Dome will be handed over to the private sector. While EP is responsible for meeting the costs of maintaining the Dome, it continues to seek short-term and one-off events to keep the Dome in use and help defray costs.
§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much the costs of maintaining the Millennium Dome have been each month; and from which departmental budget this money has come. 115W
§ Mr. McNulty
English Partnerships (EP) took over full responsibility for the Dome in July 2001, and will continue to fund its management and maintenance until the commercial deal between EP and Meridian Delta Ltd (MDL) becomes unconditional.
EP meets the costs associated with the Dome from resources made available to it by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The average monthly cost incurred by EP for management, maintenance and security, including associated staff costs, for the period July 2001 to February 2003, was around £250,000, or £5 million for the whole period.
In addition to the management, maintenance and security of the Dome, EP has also incurred Dome-related costs, up until the end of February 2003, comprising: £6.5 million for decommissioning the contents of the Dome and its site in preparation for the future long-term use; £6.3 million in connection with the current sale process; and £6.7 million for the previous competition to find a long-term use for the Dome.
All of the above costs amount to a total figure of £24.5 million, to the end of February 2003. These costs will be recovered from sale proceeds.
§ Mr. McNulty
[pursuant to the answer, 10 April 2003, Official Report, c. 357W]: The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC), was responsible for building the Dome and running the Millennium Experience. NMEC was allocated £628 million of National Lottery funds from the Millennium Commission for the Millennium Experience, which included the associated national programme of events across the United Kingdom as well as the Dome at Greenwich. NMEC is currently in solvent liquidation and it is expected that some £25 million of this grant facility will not be required.
Up to the end of December 2002, English Partnerships (EP) had incurred a total cost of £23.5 million. This includes, from 1 July 2001—when EP took over the ownership of the Dome—£4.6 million for the management, maintenance and security of the Dome; £6.5 million for decommissioning the contents of the Dome and its site in preparation for the future longterm use; and £5.7 million in connection with the sale process. It also includes £6.7 million for the previous competition to find a long-term use for the Dome. All of these costs incurred by EP in relation to the Dome will be recovered from sale proceeds.