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Queen Elizabeth Ii Conference Centre

Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what his estimate is of the (a) annual running costs and (b) net annual cost to the Exchequer of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in each year from 1990—91 to 2005—06 (planned); and if he will make a statement; [101707](2)what his estimate is of the current market valuation of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre; what plans he has to privatise this facility; and if he will make a statement; [101706](3) what assessment has been made of the value for money of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre; and if he will make a statement. [101581]

The annual running costs and annual net financial results for The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre from 1990—91 to 2001—02 were published in its annual report and accounts, copies of which were placed in the Libraries of the House. The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre operates in a competitive market place and for reasons of commercial sensitivity its corporate and financial plans are not made publicly available.

The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre was independently valued at £20 million as at 1 April 1999. This was confirmed by a further valuation as at 1 April 2002. Following a review the Government announced on 15 October 2001 that The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre would retain its public sector role and status. The review did not recommend contracting out or privatisation, which it considered could be difficult to implement, and would be poor value for money. It also concluded that any market interest in the site would be likely to relate to development for uses other than a conference centre. The Centre was seen as an important London facility, attracting considerable business tourism. A summary of the review findings was placed in the Libraries of the House.