Let me run Dome, says Gerbeau

Former Millennium Dome chief executive Pierre-Yves Gerbeau today called on the Government to make a business-based decision about who takes over the ill-fated attraction.

He confirmed that he is giving the Government 48 hours to consider his plan to use the Dome as a top international entertainment venue and world class visitor attraction.

His move has brought further confusion as a final decision is awaited on the £125 million bid by the preferred bidder, the Legacy consortium, to turn the site in Greenwich into a hi-tech business centre known as Knowledge City.

Mr Gerbeau told GMTV: "We are frustrated about the way it's going on, and it is now time to reopen the bid process and give the Dome a real chance."

He said the situation reminded him "of the British Rail story - a quick, cheap sale, and then you turn around and regret it".

He added: "It's been a very good visitor attraction, we want to make it better, we want to create a world class attraction."

Mr Gerbeau and his backers were talking to promoters who were excited about the concept of staging boxing matches such as Lennox Lewis against Mike Tyson, he said.

"It could be a top international entertainment venue, and, during the day, a world class visitor attraction."

The Government, though, was in its own trap, saying it could not talk to Mr Gerbeau and his team.

"There are other serious people. I think the Government need to look at this as a business. Let's stop the political story around the Dome, this has dragged on far too long."

But he confirmed he was only giving the Government two days.

"I have to look at other opportunities, I've been very happy to be the Dome man for a long year, but I am a business person and have to look at business opportunities."

It had been expected that ministers would set a deadline of today to agree the Legacy bid but Downing Street yesterday denied this.