SEPTEMBER 2000: Dome not sold any more. Nomura withdraws its 105 million offer. David James replaces David Quarmby as Chairman of NMEC.

JULY 2000: Dome sold to lowest bidder - Dome Europe

MAY 2000: Two final short-listed bidders announced - Nomura's DOME EUROPE and Robert Bourne's LEGACY plc. The Dome Europe proposal was for a "world-class urban entertainment resort that celebrates the richness of European culture". Legacy plc proposed "a large cluster of knowledge-based businesses [in effect] the national incubator for technology businesses". Mr Quarmby replaced Mr Robert Ayling as Chairman on NMEC's Board

APRIL 2000: English Partnerships has whittled the total of 70 bids down to five: Dome Europe, Sports Dome 2001, Legacy, Greenwich Media World and Meridian City

FEBRUARY 2000: Mr PY Gerbeau replaced Ms Jennie Page as Chief Executive of NMEC

JANUARY 2000: Six bidders for the Dome shortlisted and invited to submit detailed proposals

DECEMBER 1998: Company's share transferred to Lord Falconer, Minister of State, Cabinet Office upon his appointment as Dome Minister taking over from Peter Mandelson

DECEMBER 1997: Competition to sell the Dome announced. The criteria for the assessment of the bids were: financial consideration, commercial and environment sustainability, regeneration, innovation, cultural significance and transport. Ten outline proposals received.

JULY-SEPTEMBER 1997: Name changed to New Millennium Experience Limited (NMEC) and board and management team augmented by new members

23 JUNE 1997: On 23 June 1997, the first of 8,000 concrete piles were driven into the site, followed by the construction of a concrete beam marking out the Dome's 1km circumference.

MAY 1997: Incoming Labour Government conducted review of the project and confirmed it; Company's share transferred to Mr Peter Mandelson MP, Minister Without Portfolio

12TH FEBRUARY 1997: The company was constituted as Millennium Central Ltd. and all the issued shares were transferred to a Government Minister. This brought the company within the control and accountability regime applying to all the Government's non-departmental public bodies, although the company was technically not in receipt of any taxpayers' money voted by Parliament; the entirety of its 'public money' was to come from the National Lottery funds distributed by the Millennium Commission. The ownership of the issued shares by a Government Minister does not affect or alter NMEC's status as a company subject to the requirements of company law.

JANUARY 1997: Responsibility for the operation of the Exhibition was assumed by a new public-sector operating company (subsequently called NMEC) with Ms Jennie Page as Chief Executive and a Minister as sole shareholder. The then Government agreed with the Opposition that the project would be taken forward by a Government-owned body and that, following the imminent general election, a new Government would extend National Lottery funding for the Millennium Commission (originally planned to end on 31 December 2000) by one year to ensure that it received sufficient National Lottery money to cover its commitment to the Exhibition without risk to other millennium projects. 12 February 1997: The company was constituted as Millennium Central Ltd. and all the issued shares were transferred to a Government Minister. This brought the company within the control and accountability regime applying to all the Government's non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), although the company is not in receipt of any taxpayers' money voted by Parliament; the entirety of its 'public money' comes from the National Lottery funds distributed by the Millennium Commission. The ownership of the issued shares by a Government Minister does not affect or alter NMEC's status as a company subject to the requirements of company law.

AUGUST 1996: The Millennium Commission supported the proposal for a Dome as the main site for the Exhibition

FEBRUARY 1996: The Millennium Commission selected Greenwich.

JANUARY 1996: Imagination Group Limited was selected as the preferred operator, and the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham and Greenwich were short-listed as sites

SPRING 1995: The Commission began selecting an operator and a site for the Exhibition, referring to its vision of a "showpiece celebration, and .... lasting legacy"

JUNE 1994: June 1994: The first Chairman of the Millennium Commission and Secretary of State for National Heritage, the Rt. Hon Peter Brooke CH MP, proposed that a national exhibition be held as the focus for the country's millennial celebrations.


The Dome.  One Amazing Day.  One Year Only.  Thank God.


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