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Earl Baldwin of Bewdley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health intends to continue to make financial contributions because of the British Fluoridation Society's role in collecting and maintaining relevant information, including evidence from research studies on the effects of fluoridation.

17 Jan 2001 : Column WA137

Millennium Dome: Division of Sale Proceeds

Lord Acton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made in deciding how the proceeds of the sale of the Dome will be divided between English Partnerships and the New Millennium Experience Company.[HL378]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Now that the Millennium Experience has finished, the prime focus of the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) is on discharging their outstanding obligations and achieving an efficient wind-up.

English Partnerships (EP) continues to manage, on behalf of Government, the process of selling the Dome, in close conjunction with NMEC.

To facilitate a smooth sale process, and rationalise the arrangements within the public sector, a new agreement was signed by NMEC and EP on 12 January, to vary the original agreement to lease between the two bodies.

The new agreement provides for NMEC to terminate its occupancy of the site after it has returned all items owned by third parties. English Partnerships will then carry out the remainder of the work necessary to sell the site.

The agreement reflects the Government's decision about how the proceeds from the sale of the Dome are to be divided. In making this decision the Government has had regard to the need to balance the reasonable interests of the taxpayer and the lottery player

17 Jan 2001 : Column WA138

respectively. The Government expects to apply these principles to any future sale of the Dome, irrespective of whether the current negotiations with Legacy plc are successful. The proceeds are to be divided in the following way:

    The competition and other costs will be deducted from the payments for the Dome site made on completion and the ground rent later payable on the Dome site. Of the remainder, half will be paid to English Partnerships as owners of the land, and half to the New Millennium Experience Company as owners of the Dome structure. Once NMEC has been wound up, it is intended that any remaining share of the proceeds will pass to the Millennium Commission.

    The same split will be applied in principle to payments made in respect of the land adjacent to the Dome which is also included in the sale, up to a threshold fixed in monetary terms. Above that threshold all payments will go to English Partnerships.

    The precise figures involved in any division of proceeds will not be known until a sale is finalised and costs ascertained. Certain further details, eg relating to clawback/profit share, are bound up with the current negotiations with Legacy plc, and are therefore commercially confidential; however, it is expected that broadly the same principles as those outlined above will apply. Currently forecast costs to be deducted as explained above include about &163;15 million in relation to certain decommissioning requirements and approximately &163;7 million for the Dome competition.

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