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Government to retain freehold and explore private sector management of The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

The Government has reviewed the decision to market and dispose of The Queen Elizabeth II Centre taken by the previous Government in April 2009. It has concluded that the Department for Communities and Local Government should retain its freehold interest in the building in line with current Government Property Unit policy to retain freeholds in the Whitehall area.

The building will remain as a conference centre as it has proved to be of considerable economic benefit to the Westminster area, as recognised by Westminster City Council.

The Department for Communities and Local Government will be undertaking pre-market engagement to fully explore all the viable options for the future of the Centre. It will then decide whether the conference business should continue under the existing arrangements or be marketed to the private sector.

The Department is investigating three options; a short-term operating contract, a medium-term lease and a longer-term lease, but would consider other value for money options the market proposed.

The Queen Elizabeth II Centre currently operates as a successful trading fund and delivers an annual net surplus from trading in excess of £2 million. Any disposal or privatisation should maximise value for money for taxpayers.

Next month the Government will be undertaking pre-market engagement to test the market appetite and viability.

No further comment can be made.

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