A bid to turn the Millennium Dome into a haven for fledgling and established technology companies is set to be rejected by UK government ministers this week.
Dome Legacy, a consortium put together by property developer Robert Bourne, had wanted to turn the Dome, located on the banks of the river Thames in London, into a hi-tech campus for telcos, IT firms and online businesses.
However, competition director The English Partnership is understood to have recommended rival plans that would keep the venue as a leisure attraction. A report in the Sunday Business newspaper said that the Cabinet would rubber-stamp the decision later this week.
Unless there is a last-minute change of heart, a consortium led by the UK's biggest pub landlord, the Japanese finance house Nomura, will take control of the Dome from January 2001.
Nomura recently concluded a deal with the BBC to bring the broadcaster's successful Walking With Dinosaurs TV programmes to life in the Dome. It is reported to be willing to invest £200m over and above the £75m it is reported to have bid for a 999-year lease on the 50-acre site.
Development plans are said to include new zones, a new entrance and an adventure playground in the Dome, and retail businesses outside the main structure.
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