Hopes to turn London's Millennium Dome into a high-tech business park were renewed late Monday as the UK government awarded the Legacy consortium a 'preferred bidder' status.
Legacy wants to turn the Dome into a high-tech business park and plans to create some 14,000 jobs. The consortium, which is likely to pay the government £125m for the building, hopes to attract technology partners such as Sun Microsystems, 3Com, BT and NTL.
The government had previously rejected Legacy's plan in favour of a bid by Nomura, which wanted to keep the Dome as a leisure attraction. But the Japanese bank consortium later grew concerned about the Dome's viability.
Legacy, which is led by property developer Robert Bourne, wants to turn the Dome into a campus for startups and existing companies.
The so-called Silicon Dome will act as a showcase for technical innovations, and members of the public will be free to enter the building to view small exhibitions and presentations by the occupying companies.
According to a recent poll of 156 people in the UK carried out by Mori, 59 per cent agreed that the Dome should be turned into a high-tech campus and only 11 per cent thought that the country needed another theme park.
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