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Millennium Dome

15. Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the future of the millennium dome after 31 December 2000. [110612]

Mr. Chris Smith: The Government are determined to find a sustainable alternative use for the Dome when the Millennium Experience finishes at the end of 2000. In March last year, we launched a competition to invite bidders to come forward with proposals and my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and the Regions announced a shortlist of six last month. Bidders are currently developing their proposals and bids. We intend to make a further shortlist and select the winning bid in the summer.

21. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what new measures are being taken to increase ticket sales to the dome. [110618]

Janet Anderson: The last week has seen record attendances at the Dome, with many visitors, including children on free education tours, and each day being sold out. The New Millennium Experience Company will continue to promote ticket sales through a range of advertising and other promotional activities. In particular, they will be working with the travel trade to increase uptake of the many excellent travel and accommodation packages.

24. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions his Department has had with sponsors of the dome about their contracts. [110621]

Janet Anderson: No such discussions have taken place. Contracts are a matter between NMEC and their sponsors.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will review his policy in respect of the release of information hitherto classified as commercially confidential relating to the Millennium Dome. [109910]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 11 February 2000]: The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC), which is responsible for all aspects of the Millennium Dome, is both a public sector body (by virtue of the issued shares being held by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on behalf of the Government) and a Companies Act company. NMEC is, therefore, required to operate according to non-departmental public body rules and guidelines and according to company law. The guidelines on openness and transparency, to which all public sector bodies are required to adhere, allow for information to be restricted for commercial reasons. In answering parliamentary questions, Ministers have always sought to question those cases where NMEC judges the information to be

28 Feb 2000 : Column: 84W

commercially sensitive. The policy is, therefore, under regular review. NMEC has provided information on a commercial-in-confidence basis to the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport throughout its life and will continue to do so.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for what reasons tickets to the Millennium Dome are not available for visits beyond March; and when such tickets will become available. [105246]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 17 January 2000]: The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) released tickets for visits during April in late January. It has always been NMEC's declared policy to release tickets in tranches through the year. This policy enables the company to consider against the experience of previous months its ticketing strategy for future months and assists the management of seasonal peaks and troughs.

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many tickets were sold for the Millennium Dome in the first week during which it was open to the public. [104654]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 17 January 2000]: There were 99,453 visitors to the Dome in the first week of the Dome's opening. A copy of NMEC's press release of Friday 4 February, containing this information as well as other details of visitor attendance in January, was placed in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proposals he has evaluated for use of the Dome for sports after 2000; and if he will make a statement. [111098]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 21 February 2000]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and the Regions gave on 17 January 2000, Official Report, column 255W. Of the six bids that were selected to go through to the next round of the Dome Legacy competition, one was specifically for sporting use. All six bidders are currently developing their proposals further. At this stage, we have no preference for the type of use for the Dome after 2000. However, each bid will be evaluated against the criteria specified for the competition, namely: commercial and environmental sustainability, regeneration benefits, innovation, cultural significance, consistency with the Government's transport strategy, and financial consideration.

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what is the maximum number of tickets that the New Millennium Experience Company is allowed to sell for (a) any one-day session and (b) the evening session at the Millennium Dome. [111314]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 21 February 2000]: The site capacity set out in the operating licence issued by Greenwich Council is 35,000 plus 2,000 staff at any one time. It is for the New Millennium Experience Company to decide, in the best interests of visitor management and satisfaction, how many tickets to release in any particular period up to the licence capacity.

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Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many tickets for the Millennium Dome have been sold from outlets based in Wales. [110099]

Janet Anderson: Dome tickets can be purchased through National Lottery outlets, travel operators, the New Millennium Experience Company's website and a call centre. The total number of bookings made from Wales across all outlets is 17,927 to 6 February. It should be borne in mind, however, that when people purchase Dome tickets, particularly through the National Lottery outlets and call centre, their location at the time is not always an indication of their place of residence. Some people may buy a ticket when visiting Wales but do not reside there permanently; conversely, people resident in Wales may buy a Dome ticket when visiting other parts of the United Kingdom and their purchases will, therefore, not be reflected in Wales' figures.

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many paying visitors to the Millennium Dome there have been in each of the weeks for which he has data. [108964]

Janet Anderson: There were 344,620 paying visitors to the Dome during January out of a total of 366,420. Weekly breakdowns for the total number of visitors (paying and non-paying) are as follows:

Number
1 and 2 January33,442
Week commencing 3 January102,877
Week commencing 10 January64,346
Week commencing 17 January71,644
Week commencing 24 January87,124
31 January6,987

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what is the total amount of sponsorship money expected to support the Dome; how much has been received to date; and which sponsors have yet to hand over moneys agreed for sponsorship of the Dome. [109909]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 11 February 2000]: The total value of sponsorship is approximately £160 million. A final and definitive figure will be confirmed when the New Millennium Experience Company's final accounts are audited. Where sponsorship has been received during the period 1 April 1999 to 31 December 1999, that will be confirmed in the company's accounts for that period, due to be published in June 2000. The timing of sponsorship cash receipts, and of the value attributable to value-in-kind contributions which replace a budgeted expenditure within the £758 million cash budget, is dependent on the terms of the contractual arrangements negotiated with each sponsor. In terms of cash payments, most contracts provide for an initial payment on signature followed by further payments subject to a range of contractual provisions. Two sponsors (Boots and BSkyB) have yet to sign their contracts but remain committed at Board level to the sponsorship agreement.

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Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will break down the number of visitors to the Millennium Experience in January by category of ticket purchased, indicating in each case the price paid for each category of ticket. [109964]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 14 February 2000]: A total of 366,420 visitors visited the Dome in January. The percentage breakdown and price, by category of tickets is as follows:

Percentage£
Adult53.420.00
Child(18)5.616.50
Family Tickets21.757.00
Student4.516.50
Senior Citizen6.418.00

(18) Under 5s go free


The remaining 8.4 per cent. of visitors were children who won tickets as part of the free ballot for schools and some who were on specially managed education visits at £8.00 per head.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement about the meeting on Wednesday 2 February between Lord Falconer and sponsors of the Millennium Dome. [110076]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 14 February 2000]: In his capacity as Shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC), Lord Falconer of Thoroton has attended, at the invitation of NMEC, a number of functions and events with Millennium Experience sponsors, including that organised by NMEC on 2 February as part of a regular sponsor group meeting. A range of issues, relevant to the Millennium Experience at the Dome and the linked National Programme, are covered at the sponsor group meetings.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list those persons who collectively were responsible for the decisions (a) to discontinue the previous Chief Executive's involvement with the Millennium Dome and (b) to appoint the new Chief Executive. [110075]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 14 February 2000]: The appointment of the Chief Executive of the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) is a matter for the NMEC Board. The non-executive Board members are:



    Sam Chisholm (Deputy Chairman)


    Ian Ash


    Sir Alan Cockshaw


    Len Duvall


    Michael Grade CBE


    Sir Brian Jenkins


    The hon. Mrs. Sara Morrison


    David Quarmby

The Board was responsible for the recent appointment of Pierre-Yves Gerbeau to replace Jennie Page as Chief Executive. Lord Falconer of Thoroton, as Shareholder of NMEC, was kept fully informed about the decision and approved the terms of the appointment.

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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the (a) capital, (b) revenue and (c) opportunity costs of granting free admission to the dome for school children. [109728]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 11 February 2000]: The capital cost of accommodating the Education Tour scheme, under which up to one million free tickets are available to schools, is approximately £2 million attributable to the reception building and equipment for the scheme on the dome site. The revenue cost, attributable to dedicated staff and administration of the ticketing process, is approximately £150,000. The opportunity costs are impossible to quantify but depend on a range of assumptions about ticket sales and categories of purchaser who might replace the free attendees within the licensed capacity limits of the dome site.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how, and by whom, Monsieur Pierre-Yves Gerbeau was identified as a potential new Chief Executive for the Millennium Dome; what checks were undertaken concerning his background and previous employment; and if he will make a statement. [110074]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 14 February 2000]: Pierre-Yves Gerbeau was appointed as Chief Executive of NMEC by its Board. They were responsible for identifying him as a candidate and undertaking any appropriate checks.

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many tickets were sold for the Millennium Dome on each day of the first two weeks of February. [110521]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 17 February 2000]: Attendance for the week commencing 31 January was 104,705 (including 16,545 free education tour visits). For the week commencing 7 February, attendance was 112,788 (including 20,965 free education tour visits).

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what average attendance figures at the Millennium Dome were for the first 12 days of January. [104895]

Janet Anderson: There was an average of 12,935 visitors to the Dome for the first 12 days of January. A copy of NMEC's press release of Friday 4 February, containing this information as well as other details of visitor attendance in January, was placed in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many Dome tickets have been sold (a) overseas, (b) via the Internet, (c) at post offices, (d) by telephone and (e) in small local shops. [107276]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 31 January 2000]: The information is not available in the form requested. However, of the 366,420 people who visited the Dome in January the sources of purchase were:

Percentage
Camelot26.1
Ticket line23.4
Website6.7
Travel trade13.6
Education9.0
Hospitality9.6
Door sales11.6

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Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many tickets to the Dome have been sold so far to (a) adults, (b) children, (c) students, (d) old age pensioners, and (e) people with disabilities. [107277]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 31 January 2000]: The information is not available in the precise form requested. However, a breakdown of the 366,420 visitors in January, by category of ticket, is as follows:

Percentage
Adult53.4
Child5.6
Student4.5
Senior citizen6.4
Family tickets21.7

The remaining 8.4 per cent. of visitors were children who won tickets as part of the free ballot for schools and some who were on specially managed education visits at £8.00 per head.

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the schedule for maintenance and repairs of the roof of the Millennium Dome in 2000. [110935]

Janet Anderson: Repairs to the roof are dealt with as soon as they arise. NMEC holds a stock of spare materials and has specified a four-hour response time by the repair team as part of the maintenance contract. In addition trained personnel visually inspect the roof on a monthly basis.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will publish the names of the operators of the contracted catering outlets that operate in and around the Millennium Dome at Greenwich; and what style of food they were contracted to supply. [110504]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 17 February 2000]: Catering and supply contracts have been awarded to the following:

Catering contracts
Bakers Ovenbaked foods
Costacoffee bar
Aromacoffee bar
AMT Espressocoffee bar
New Covent Garden Soup Companysoup bar
Great American Bagel Companybagel bar
OpaJohnsfilled pancake style bar
Simply Internetcyber cafe
Granada Food ServicesNMEC controlled public catering
Compass plc NMEC controlled hospitality and staff catering
McDonaldsfast food restaurant
Coca Colasoda bar
Birds Eye, Wall'sice cream parlour
Premier Brandstea bar
Yo Sushisushi restaurant
Regents Inn plcNMEC controlled pub

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Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for what reason the maximum daily number of visitors to the Millennium Dome is set at 20,000; and when it will be increased to 35,000. [105245]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 17 February 2000]: There is no maximum of 20,000. The site capacity set out in the operating licence issued by Greenwich Council is 35,000 plus 2,000 staff at any one time.


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