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Six in frame to give Millennium Dome an extended lease of life

LAING and Sir Robert McAlpine are leading two of the six groups bidding to take over the Millennium Dome next year.

The roster has been whittled down from 10 outline proposals by regeneration quango English Partnerships and two or three will be short-listed.

Lord Falconer, government minister responsible for the Dome, said: 'These six bids are the most likely to deliver a successful outcome.'

Laing is working with developer MEPC to transform the Dome into a technology theme park.

McAlpine is a partner in a team also including consultant Pell Frischmann, which plans to redevelop the site into a 'media city'.

Japanese bank Nomura refuses to disclose the partners in its proposal.

Malaysian firms Country Heights and Sunrise Berhard are working with South African investment company Maccon on a fourth proposal to transform the Dome into a 'world ideas centre'.

Property firm Richard Ellis St Quintain's group wants to turn it into a high-tech industrial campus, while developer Chelsfield's bid, backed by broadcaster BSkyB, focuses on sport.