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Monday, 26 February, 2001, 11:20 GMT
What would you do with the Dome?
The race for bidders is on again as the government throws the Dome sale open to new competitors.
Legacy plc has lost its preferred bidder status and it is unclear if an alternative bid led by the Dome's former chief executive, Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, has adequate funding.
From Legacy to Normura - no bid has been good enough. The Tories believe that the scheme was a disaster from the start and it should be bulldozed.
The government is in a dilemma as to what should be done with the site. Can you help?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Stephen Harrison, England
The Dome should be a business park and incorporate/ provide training and work experience for jobseekers. Governments, present and future, should fund this.
Having trouble finding a site for Diana's Fountain? Tear down the Dome and build it there.
Are there enough of the yellow "pointy bits" to hang each of the ministers/MPs who've betrayed the UK's citizens?
If so, maybe it will become the 21st century's equivalent of Traitors' Gate!
I agree with Robbie, the major beef that everyone has is that it was paid for by the public and they have to pay a large sum to enter it. With this mentality in mind surely the majority would be satisfied with using it to house the homeless or refugees as well as keeping one of the most amazing constructions in the world intact. This is of course far too logical and probably won't send much money to the fat cats so I fear it will fall on deaf ears.
Sell the whole thing to property developers for housing - this is what we need. Grand schemes don't work anymore, and shouldn't be located in London as it is too overcrowded. Over 50% of the UK's economy is in London - isn't it time the wealth was shared somewhat better?
Move it where it should have been built in the first place, and where it would have suceeded. The NEC site at Birmingham. Then convert it into the new national stadium for 120,000 people.
British people are sick of London, its traffic, its bad manners and its lack of cheap affordable hotels etc.
Sell the Dome (for the best practical price you can get), use the money and put it directly into the NHS. Had the Government done this in the first place instead of pursuing their own misguided glory, I believe this would have demonstrated a lot more in favour of the Labour Party. Although a Conservative supporter generally, I would vote for Labour if they had done something like this. Something which demonstrates that they do care about the masses; it would demonstrate much more faith in the present establishment. And the Tories would certainly have no chance at the next election. Isn't it obvious?
The Dome and all the rest of the millennium garbage was a waste of badly needed cash. It would have been OK in Victoria's day to demonstrate imperial power but we didn't have enough British artefacts to fill it with, having either given them to the USA or failed to support the good ones so that they went abroad to Japan, Germany, anywhere but Britain.
A few years ago I saw how the centre of Managua, Nicaragua, was developed after a major earthquake decimated the area. The government of Nicaragua dedicated the site to free sporting facilities for the people of that struggling nation. We saw hundreds using it daily - a truly inspiring use of land. And here are we, with a prime sight waiting for wise heads to snatch it up. Our tax money has gone into it, now let us put those millions back to good use. It should be viewed as an asset, not a problem! Give the Dome a sporting chance!
I don't really care what happens to the Dome as long as it is saved from the "mind police" who manipulated the public into despising it, rather than seeing it as a good fun day out with some educational elements. I took a school trip to the Dome - the kids loved it. It should be preserved.
Lets turn the Dome it into the British Public Senate Building, of course with a few minor adjustments to the structure and use this as a means of public mediation and control on how best to deal with the hypocrisy, lying, cheating, incompetence, money mismanagement, money wasting and unnecessarily red tape from our so called leaders. Representatives from all counties and boroughs would come together as a collective council and decided for ourselves, how best to redevelop the infrastructures in this country. The public senate would act as a proper government control watchdog to stop Parliament being used as nothing more than a platform for ambitious politicians who want to play with our money and our lives. Lets truly make this for the people by the people and start by bring down the prices in 'Rip off Britain'.
What should have been done in the first place. Strip out all the "luvey" stuff and fill it with a testament to Britain's past and continuing greatness. What a wonderful, huge, dynamic, great exhibition it could make.
I'd get all those responsible for the expensive tripe they put in the Dome to pay for it out of their own pocket, then see whether their modernist art is worth the money they suggested it would be. It is the greatest single embodiment of the current government; looks OK from the outside, certainly in principle, but inside it's bereft of ideas and originality.
The whole thing has been a fiasco from the start. It's about time common sense prevailed - or is it too late for that?
If you remember they wouldn't tell the public what was going to be inside the "Dome" - news releases only hinted at the overwhelming possibilities. I believe the lack of truly interesting areas that the public could look forward to looking at let the project down. We didn't know what we were going to get and we didn't care!
Nobody else mention Disney please! We don't need Disney charging loads of money to get in to a building we, the UK, citizens paid for. Instead, the building could house the Olympics, the Notting Hill Carnival, the homeless, and political refugees - all at once!
Keep the structure and turn it into an adrenaline-zone for the young people of London. Put in ramps and courses for BMX, skateboard, roller-blading, a climbing wall, some basketball, 5 a-side etc.
There is still plenty of land there to use for low-cost housing without pulling down the tent.
The dome was paid for by mostly low-income families, let them get some enjoyment out of it.
Turn it into a main headquarters for the three services of the armed forces, something like the Pentagon in the US.
Sell it to PY Gerbeau to be dismantled and re-erected in his own country.
Ravi Arora, UK
Why not make it into something useful? The Dome has been overrated before it was finished, why not scrap it and turn it into an educational place or perhaps a hospital since there are reports of insufficient beds or treatment devices!
Running the Dome costs us too much, why spend more when we can make our living lives better?
Leave it to decay naturally, as symbol of Government foolishness. I am sure the thousands of homeless in London will find it useful.
Next time build something away from London, and it might get a bit more support from the majority of Britain.
Although Tony Walsh thinks it a humourous idea to put our politicians in there, it would have overwhelmingly sensible and practical advantages. Firstly, its sheer size would allow all 659 members of the Commons to be in the Chamber at once. Secondly, it would allow the instalment of a sensible voting system instead of the current practice of filing through lobbies. And thirdly, it would have a chamber suitable in shape for a parliament (see Straßburg and Cardiff).
Richard Leider, USA
I agree with the comments that the dome should be some sort of stadium type entertainment venue. It could also include unique Hotel accommodation under the same roof!
A unique world class venue to attract the big names, events AND the crowds!
Please, please, please turn the site into an international sporting and concert venue. The Millennium Dome site has the potential of becoming the most spectacular Olympic host site ever! The public has paid for it and now we want it back!
At one point the AstroDome in Houston Texas, USA was in confusion as to what to do with its space when its original use became obsolete. Yet today it still thrives and the concept has been mimicked all over the world. Such new and unique endeavours have their growing period and time of confusion, yet they succeed with time and correct management decisions.
Rob Needs, UK
I would like the Dome to be a lively museum for recent history, particularly WWII. The Dome shape would make a fabulous sky for son et lumiere re-enacting the blitz and the Battle of Britain, while the structure could support the aircraft of the time. This would make an educational and tourist attraction reinforcing the appreciation of our heritage.
Why not let PY Gerbeau buy it? He has the enthusiasm and commitment and has had a pretty good track record with the Dome so far.
David Goldsmith, UK
Your Millennium Dome is an architectural accomplishment. Parisians did not take to the Eiffel Tower immediately, nor to the Palais des Machines built around it. But, can you seriously think of Paris without your mind wandering, at least for a moment, to thoughts about the Eiffel Tower? Whatever you do with it, do not demolish it.
I think it should be given to United Nations for holding peace-keeping conferences!
Knock it down and build housing on the site and then give the housing to public sector workers (nurses, teachers, police etc) for their use while they are stationed in London. This would help everyone in the capital and the Government would still own all the assets. In the long run the money spent would be gained back by not having to pay out huge "London weightings" to these workers to get them to work in London.
Never mind a euro referendum - how about a Dome referendum? Then the country would get to put forward its interesting and varied ideas (as seen on this page), and we could eventually turn the Dome into something people actually wanted to visit!
Cover it with tinfoil, turn it upside down, and use it to look for intelligent life in space - because there's certainly none down here.
Sarah C, UK
To be perfectly honest the millennium Dome is a dead duck, and the best thing is to bulldoze the site and redevelop the land for housing/business. As quite simply who would want to buy a structure that is so unique the running costs are astronomical. It has a roof that it is only made by one company in the world, the public transport links are poor, and there is insufficient parking.
It is a classic example of the fairground, you walk in, you see the attractions, such as the ferris wheel. You can instantly see what you are getting for your money, and as with the millennium wheel it was a huge success as still is with bookings being made months in advance. However when you come to one of the tents (the millennium Dome) with the fat man outside saying "Come in, fork out your cash, you might like what you see inside!" Most people say "Not interested mate" and walk past.
The Dome should be used as an athletics/general sports stadium as the centrepiece for our Olympic bid in 2012. The structure of the Dome is a fitting backdrop for the Olympics and would stand us in good stead for becoming hosts.
The site with or without the Dome should be disposed of in such as a way as to maximise the returns to the taxpayers.
The local council claims that the Dome will generate 30,000 jobs but how do they know and surely that depends on what use the Dome is put to, assuming that keeping it up is indeed the best option, which is very debatable.
I agree with the suggestions above, but think before you leap if it becomes a public facility it will then end up being paid for by the public, let a business man fund the nightmare.
PY is desperate to turn this into a major international attraction and that can only be a good thing for the British people, who after all invested so much of their own money into it! Give this man a chance, and then give him a knighthood!
After having visited the Dome just before it closed and found it a great day out, where I was genuinely sad to think that such a great monument to British achievement should be closed. I would like to see it turned into a visitor attraction by Mr Gerbeau or Disney.
Could it not be kept as it is (after all 85% of visitors, including myself, thought it was great), but the central stage and auditorium could make lots of money being used in a modern version of the circular Albert Hall stage i.e. concerts, recitals, tennis matches, operas, competitions, debates etc, the possibilities are endless.
The dome as a millennium centrepiece was clearly a failure, but as a building it has aesthetic appeal, good transport links etc and should be kept and used.
Take everything out of it and burn it...Then turn the building itself into something remotely useful that the community can benefit from (i.e. entertainment/sports complex)
I went to the Dome, and until I got inside I was very impressed... the interior was all style and no content... a devastatingly accurate description of the politicians that created it (on both sides of the House)
I think the Dome should be used for gladiatorial games where the politicians who have wasted so much of our money on something that we didn't really want and then continued to throw our tax money at it to try to keep it afloat can fight each other or wild animals for the entertainment of the crowd (who get in free because we've already paid for it again and again)
Ken Livingstone should buy the land for London and build a large number of affordable homes and flats on the site. Then sell these to either to housing associations or to people from a range of key professions who are finding it difficult to live within London.
Oh and knock the Dome down.
Jon Ratcliffe, UK
1) Turn it into a car park (make oodles of money)
2) Turn it into a sports/ night-club/ resturant/ hotel complex
3) The world's biggest LAN Game Arena
4) Put it up for auction, funds go towards the cancelling of poverty-stricken governments (Third World debt)
5) The first (railway station) part of a super-hi-tech-Japanese-built railway system. (Bullet Train System).
Sell it to the Irish government as a 'mushroom' centrepiece in an Irish Faery theme park. They would also rake in the US Dollars with genealogy booths around the place.
Target practice, anyone? NATO? The RAF?
Anne P, Norfolk, UK
How about an indoor zoo and
garden? A year round venue
and learning experience for
I believe that if sufficient members of the current Labour and previous Tory Governments were to stand under it and talk the hot air would be sufficient to lift it like a hot air balloon. It would be a useful alternative to the London Eye and as an added bonus leave the valuable land empty.
Turn it into a sub tropical garden park, maybe run themes on different areas of the globe. Allow a few shops and restaurants and maybe put in some sort of cable network for gondola rides above the whole thing (inside).
London should have an answer to the Cardiff Millennium Stadium, not just a cramped, revamped Wembley with a bit of scaffolding arched over the top and a line of Mondeo's stretching to the horizon. This is something we actually need, unlike the exhibition, and the opportunity seems to be staring us in the face.
Stephanie Clifford, UK
Perhaps the Dome should be given to the people as a venue for regular open public discussions of most important issues facing the country.
I think that the government need to talk to someone (there must be someone!) who knows about running big visitor attractions to find out what is involved in turning the Dome into a viable operation. There needs to be a connection between the possible uses and the planned life of the Dome - if it is going to drop to bits in twenty years then people will be less likely to invest large amounts of money, in that case it would be better to pull it down and start again. Preferably without the government and Lord Falconer running it!
Turn it into a multiplex cinema
The dome's future is assured: it has been designed as a UFO landing platform. It is from here that we will introduce our cosmic neighbours to the benefits of cider.
Phil W, UK
15 Feb 01 | UK
Dome's future thrown into doubt
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