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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Tuesday, 18 December, 2001, 19:50 GMT
Inside the new Millennium Dome
The new-look Dome
If approved the site could open in three years' time
World class entertainment stars and prestigious sports events will be the mainstay of the new Millennium Dome development, its prospective developers say.

The final details of plans to transform the Greenwich peninsula site into a sports, entertainment, retail and housing hub have not yet been revealed.

This will be a state-of the art sound proofed venue

Patrick Kerr
Meridian Delta Ltd
But developers Meridian Delta consortia said the site would become a international attraction with the revitalised Dome the centrepiece - converted into a sound-proof 20,000-seater sports and entertainment complex.

The fully-enclosed arena will be surrounded by shops, offices, bars, restaurants, parkland and luxury apartments on the Dome waterfront in the 200m investment on the 189-acre site.

A total of 5,000 new homes are promised and 20,000 new jobs will be created by the development.

World-class venue

If the plans go ahead, Meridian Delta Ltd (MDL) will take ownership of the Dome on a 999-year lease and hope to have the site up and running within three years.

Model of the arena
Will the plans become reality?

MDL spokesman Patrick Kerr is convinced that this will provide an unrivalled national mixed entertainment and sports venue.

"There will be at least 150 events in the first year. Big names will be stadium-fillers," he told BBC News Online.

Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), who will be sublet the Dome, plan to attract the calibre of stars like of Madonna and Britney Spears - as it has at the Los Angeles Staples Centre.

"This will be a state-of the art sound proofed venue," said Mr Kerr.

But it will not just be concert-goers or sports enthusiasts who will be attracted to the site, he said.

"There will be terraced bars, restaurants, shops and parkland that will make it an attractive venue accessible seven days a week.

Improved transport

"There is a clear need here for a mixed use development of this kind. There are terrific transport links."

MDL has promised to further enhance access to the site by improving cycle, bus and coach routes as well as tube and river links.

As for the shops he said "big brand names" would undoubtedly be attracted to the site.

And MDL includes Lend Lease, the Australian firm behind the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent which may indicate the type of shops that may feature.

Meanwhile about 25% of the homes will be affordable housing, according to Mr Kerr.

"This provides a world class solution for the Dome and the Peninsula which will provide 20,000 jobs by a group that has a track record of delivery of consortium projects."

Overall MDL predicts that the whole Peninsula is likely to see investment of 4bn over the next 20 years.

Final agreement on MDL's joint venture with the government agency English Partnerships is expected by May 2002.

See also:

12 Nov 01 | UK
Dome running costs 'soar'
03 Nov 01 | UK
Duke drops Dome bid
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