Friday, 28 July 2000
It was announced yesterday that the Dome Europe bid has won the race to take over the Millennium Dome in the new year. The company plans to turn the beleagured venue into a high-tech leisure attraction - based on the theme of Europe. The bid, backed by Japanese finance house Nomura, was widely regarded as the front runner, and the company will assume control of the attraction when the current exhibition closes at the end of this year. The rival bid from the Legacy consortium aimed to turn the dome into a new technology park - create a British version of Silicon Valley. The new attraction will be built by Dome Europe's partners in the bid, Hyper Entertainment, whose credits to date include successful leisure attractions in San Francisco, Berlin and Tokyo. A key attraction of the new Dome will be virtual reality version of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine film, while the BBC has offered to provide other content, based on popular productions like Eastenders and Walking with Dinosaurs. Dome Europe has also promised to keep some of the existing Millennium attractions and will consider continuing the daily live show. Incredibly, Dome Europe has said it hopes to open the new attraction in time for school half-term holidays in February 2001 - leaving a very short space of time in which to turn around the Dome's fortunes.