Millennium Dome

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th December 2000.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr David Rendel Mr David Rendel Liberal Democrat, Newbury 12:00 am, 11th December 2000

On what date it was agreed that BT and Ford would sponsor two zones of the millennium dome in addition to the original 12. [141873]

Photo of Janet Anderson Janet Anderson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport

The New Millennium Experience Company announced BT as sponsor of the talk zone on 24 February 1998 and the contractual documentation was signed on 18 January 1999 after the necessary detailed negotiation on terms. Ford was announced as sponsor of the journey zone on 5 March 1999. In that case, the necessary contractual documentation was completed and signed prior to the announcement on 15 February 1999.

Photo of Mr David Rendel Mr David Rendel Liberal Democrat, Newbury

The dates that the Minister has given indicate that the New Millennium Experience Company must have known two years before it finally revised its budget in February this year, that there would be a shortfall of tens of millions of pounds in its sponsorship budget and that that money would have to come out of lottery funds. Why, therefore, did NMEC fail to change its budget and fail to ask for extra lottery money for two years? Why did the Government allow it to get away with that?

Photo of Janet Anderson Janet Anderson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport

The hon. Gentleman has omitted to point out that the problem was that visitor numbers to the dome did not reach the estimated figure. However, I can confirm that the £46 million sponsorship from Ford and BT for the two zones to which he referred was never included in NMEC's original budget.

Photo of Derek Wyatt Derek Wyatt Labour, Sittingbourne and Sheppey

When does the Minister expect the Legacy document to be signed off?

Photo of Janet Anderson Janet Anderson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport

Negotiations are continuing and, if all goes well, we hope that contracts will be exchanged in February.