Tesco owes £500,000 for Dome sponsorship

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The Independent Online

The Tesco supermarket chain still owes £500,000 to the Millennium Dome and another sponsor, L'Oreal, has yet to pay its promised £365,322, the Cabinet Office minister Lord Falconer of Thoroton admitted last night.

The Tesco supermarket chain still owes £500,000 to the Millennium Dome and another sponsor, L'Oreal, has yet to pay its promised £365,322, the Cabinet Office minister Lord Falconer of Thoroton admitted last night.

Lord Falconer, the Government's sole shareholder in the New Millennium Experience Company, said in a written reply that Tesco's £500,000 - due on March 1 - had been "withheld whilst issues raised by Tesco were being resolved in discussion with [the New Millennium Experience Company]". He added: "NMEC considers that these issues have now been resolved."

Lord Falconer said L'Oreal's payment had been due "on contract signature". He had been advised by NMEC that payment was imminent.

A £500,000 payment from BSkyB is due this month, and a further £500,000 in December. Three other payments are due in December: Mars (£250,000), Coca-Cola (£250,000), and British Airways (£100,000).

Lord McIntosh of Haringey, a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, added in a separate written reply: "The [NMEC] Board is confident that the company can operate the Dome until the end of the year and achieve solvent liquidation thereafter, within the level of lottery grant available."

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