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Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 01:03 GMT
Dome is 'gloomy and shabby'
Current state of the interior at the Millennium Dome
The remains of The Body Zone have disappeared
The Millennium Dome has descended into "a demolition site" since its closure, it has been claimed.

Shadow culture secretary Tim Yeo has condemned the troubled former tourist attraction in London as "a sad place."

Mr Yeo delivered his damning verdict after touring the site this week, saying the structure looks a long way from being regenerated for future use.

The first pictures from inside the "shabby, dusty" dome since March this year, were being broadcast by the BBC on Wednesday.

There doesn't seem to be a great sense that this is about to be converted into some exciting new project

Shadow culture secretary Tim Yeo
Despite falling into disrepair, regional news programme BBC London reveals the Dome, in Greenwich, is still costing taxpayers 1.8m a month.

The programme said on Wednesday one of its reporters took pictures while working undercover in the Dome.

It is claimed there is at least one hole in the roof of the building.

The programme said it had also learned the two giant figures of "The Body Zone" had been reduced to a pile of rubble and used as an in-fill on the Dome site.

Mr Yeo said: "It's a very sad place. There's a forlorn atmosphere.

"The whole sense of the place is extremely gloomy and it looked pretty shabby to me.

"The place is dirty and there's dust everywhere.

An aerial shot of the Millennium Dome at Greenwich
It is claimed there is at least one hole in the roof
"There doesn't seem to be a great sense that this is about to be converted into some exciting new project. It's really like a demolition site."

Government regeneration agency English Partnerships, which owns the Dome site, disputes the running cost figures, claiming maintenance costs are only 240,000 a month.

A spokeswoman for the agency said: "Maintenance is required from time to time on the roof's flexible joints, but there are no holes in the roof.

"Nobody wanted to buy the Body. I'm not sure what happened to the remains."

English Partnerships took responsibility for the Dome from the New Millennium Experience Company on 1 July this year.

The agency has had about 150 expressions of interest from organisations wishing to take over the site.

Click here to go to London
See also:

23 Nov 01 | England
Dome operators to return 20m
12 Nov 01 | UK
Dome running costs 'soar'
03 Nov 01 | UK
Duke drops Dome bid
10 Nov 01 | UK
Dome 'still for sale'
25 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Dome 'could stage pop concerts'
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