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Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

Volume 495: debated on Friday 3 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre has been retained in public ownership. (283873)

The assets management and sales strand of HM Treasury's Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP) was established to ensure more efficient and commercial operation of assets held in the public sector. The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEIICC) was one of nine government assets listed for further work in the pre-Budget report 2008 last November. The OEP final report published on 21 April stated:

“Following the statement in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report, further work on the QEIICC has been undertaken. Although, in theory, the QEIICC could be disposed of now, this would be potentially at a significant discount to its underlying value. A more measured approach is required. The conclusions are, therefore, as a first step, to undertake a site development study within three to six months advised by a firm of property professionals. It will explore the opportunity of redeveloping the existing site, in a way that is sympathetic to planning considerations and current business operations. This could entail retaining the existing conference business for the foreseeable future. Marketing and disposal could take place at various stages depending on market evolution and prevailing risk and reward considerations, but at the latest by mid 2012.”