Lottery grants go ahead to keep Dome open

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The Millennium Commission today confirmed it will go ahead with a grant to keep the Dome open until December 31.

The Millennium Commission today confirmed it will go ahead with a grant to keep the Dome open until December 31.

The money will go to the New Millennium Experience Company, which runs the attraction in Greenwich, south London.

The announcement comes a day after Japanese bank Nomura International pulled out of its proposed £105 million bid to buy it.

NMEC executive chairman David James said: "This means we can maintain our commitment to keep the Dome operating until December 31 and complete an orderly wind-up of the company thereafter."

Mike O'Connor, director of the Millennium Commission, said "The Commission decided to stand by its commitments to the New Millennium Experience despite the Nomura deal falling through.

"We will continue to support the Dome and it will stay open until the end of the year.

"We hope that there will be a new buyer."

A Millennium Commission spokeswoman said that the grants to the NMEC would total £77 million.

The figure includes the £47 million announced last week and the remaining £30 million left over from the previous £43 million grant announced in August.

Mr James added: "All of us look forward to seeing many more visitors enjoy the Dome in the remaining 109 days between now and the end of the year.

"This period will also provide an opportunity for discussions with any other parties who may be interested in acquiring the Dome or its business."

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