The financial problems continued throughout its year of operation in 2000, and after it closed it proved very difficult to find new uses for the site. The architect who worked on the Dome was Richard Rogers. His expertise worked on a design to house the exhibition. The original site was bought from British Gas by English Partnerships. The Dome site occupied 130-180 acres of the 295-acre peninsula. One of the criticisms for the project was that the money could have been used in other better ways. But the government pursued it on five conditions: ‘ there would be no extra burden on the public purse; its content would inspire; it would be a national event; it would provide a lasting legacy, and the project management would be strengthened. ’ The responsibility on management was put on the New Millennium Experience Company under a government minister as the single shareholder.
The controversy continued until its operations. (Thornley, 2000, p. The Dome received 6.5 million visitors in 2000 far more than any other UK paid entry attraction and it was second only to Euro Disney in Paris as a leisure tourism attraction in terms of visitor numbers.
It also gained 88 percent visitor satisfaction rating (MORI, 2001, cited in Swarbrooke, 2002, p. People were put off visiting the Dome by the adverse media coverage that made it ‘ un-cool’ to visit the attraction. In other words, there was already negative publicity made by the media, so that many were perceived to have negative ideas about the Dome. There was a total lack of strategic planning for this huge project that it was perceived to be a failure from the start.
Some said that Government should perhaps steer clear of high profile involvement in attraction projects because this can lead to them being ‘ political footballs’ . The project was tainted with political maneuvering from the political parties that Government should have initiated a clear programme of actions that would make the project focused on the right direction.
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