Five rivals bid to take the Dome beyond 2000

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The Independent Online

Detailed plans by five rival consortia bidding to take over the site of the Millennium Dome after the exhibition closes at the end of the year were revealed yesterday. The ambitious proposals range from a business park creating 18,000 jobs to a giant arena catering for 50 competitive sports.

The shortlist will be cut again in May, and a final decision on the winning bid is expected later this summer. Lord Falconer, the minister with responsibility for the Dome, said: "Through this competition we will clearly secure a sustainable alternative use for the Dome so it continues for many years to come."

The rival groups are:

Dome Europe, led by Japanese finance group Nomura. It plans to invest more than £100m to develop the Dome and use 15 acres of surrounding land to provide a piazza, garden, children's adventure playground and riverside walk. Dome Europe reckons it can attract 15 million visitors in 2001/04 and that its plans will create more than 5,700 jobs in 2001.

Greenwich Media World, including Tussaud's Group. It plans to invest £650m in building a concert theatre inside the Dome, a revitalised series of pavilions around it, a new Sports City nearby and a new business district around North Greenwich tube station. The scheme could create 18,500 jobs in eight to 10 years. A sports city will be built, including a ski slope, snowboarding, skateboarding, rock climbing, ice skating, curling, tennis and white-water rafting.

Legacy plc, headed by entrepreneur Robert Bourne. It wants to transform the Dome into a world-leading community of new businesses, dedicated to developing the knowledge-based skills they have acquired in some of the country's leading academic and professional workplaces. Legacy plans to invest £130m to transform the Dome and its surroundings to create an entirely new living and working place.

Meridian City, which includes Malaysian leisure and property company Country Heights, wants to invest £1bn to turn the Dome into a giant work, live and play complex that could create more than 25,000 jobs in the Thames Gateway area. Three hotels, with a total of 2,400 bedrooms, will serve the convention centre, and there will be residential apartments aimed at people who prefer city to suburban living. The International Mercantile and Cultural Centre will include showcase, education, cultural, dining and retail and recreation zones.

Sports Dome 2001, including property development company Chelsfield and broadcaster BSkyB. It aims to create "the world's greatest sporting experience" for 50 sports in the Dome, with a 10,000-seat sports theatre, a world football hall of fame and a broadcasting facility for Sky Sports. Land will be developed for a sports business park for research and development, sports science and health groups. There will be a hotel and convention facility and accommodation for media, sports and commercial groups.