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Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
'No more money' for Dome
Millennium Dome
The troubled Millennium Dome
Lord Falconer has told the House of Lords that the management of the Millennium Dome are "almost sure" they will not need more money.

The troubled Dome has been repeatedly bailed out with Lottery money largely because the number of visitors to the attraction had been vastly overestimated.


On the basis of all of these people looking at it, they believe that no further money will be required from the lottery

Lord Falconer
Cabinet Office Minister and Dome supremo Lord Falconer told the House of Lords that on the basis of a recent audit by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers no further funds would be required.

He said that the accountant's report had been studied by the Millennium Commission, by NMEC chairman David Jones and by independent accountants.

"On the basis of all of these people looking at it, they believe that no further money will be required from the lottery," he said.

Lord Falconer - who has borne the brunt of criticism over the government's handling of the Dome including calls for his resignation - added that the New Millennium Experience Company was "currently in the process of finalising its detailed budget".

Defends his role

Lord Falconer, the government shareholder in the Dome, was pressed at question time in the Lords about the previous sum of money that had been handed over to bail out the dome.

He said pre-conditions for the previous 47m tranche were now in place adding "the pre-conditions that were imposed by the Millennium Commission included making sure that there was proper management and making sure this represented the last drawdown from the Millennium Commission.

"As far as the management is concerned, that is in place. As far as the other precondition is concerned, there are discussions to finalise how that is to be achieved but they are almost there."

Tory peers' deputy leader Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish commented: "The Dome has had three lots of what were called `last tranches' of money."

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See also:

05 Oct 00 | Conservatives
Tories are ready for power - Hague
05 Oct 00 | UK
What now for the Lottery?
27 Sep 00 | UK Politics
Minister stays despite Dome failings
24 Sep 00 | Labour
Blair admits Dome letdown
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