The abandoned hi-tech business park scheme that was once scheduled to take over the controversial Millennium Dome has been resurrected.
Legacy, the consortium that unsuccessfully bid £125m to buy the Dome on London's Greenwich Peninsula, now wants to build its "Knowledge City" on a nearby site on the south bank of the Thames, at Deptford's Convoy's Wharf.
The run-down 40-hectare site is currently owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International group, which formerly used it for its printing supply depot. The media group now wants to develop the land.
If Knowledge City gets the go-ahead, the much-vaunted scheme is likely to bring 14,000 jobs to one of the capital's most run-down areas. At the time of the original bid, Lord Falconer said the Legacy plans offered "a high-quality, hi-tech and exciting future for the Dome and for Londoners".
Now, despite the severe downturn being felt by the electronics industry, Bourne, 50, is intent on revitalising his hi-tech plan. He said Knowledge City would aim to become one of the world's leading centres of innovation and excellence in the fields of high technologies, e-commerce and bio-science."
Like the Dome, the Deptford site, whose development value is believed to be in the region of £100m, sits at the centre of a telecoms network, which would give tenants easy access to broadband internet and data services.
Legacy is understood to have held talks with News International about buying part of the Convoy's Wharf site, which also has strong historical associations. It is believed to be the dock for the "Golden Hind", the 16th century ship in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world, as well as being the site of Henry VIII's shipyard.
Meanwhile, the Eden Project, the hi-tech environmental park in St Austell, Cornwall, is now making overtures to take over the Millennium Dome. Tim Smit, chief executive of Eden, has teamed up with David Marks, the creator of the London Eye, to build another Eden in the Dome.
The new scheme would involve transforming the Dome into a leisure and tourism attraction based on a garden theme. The project, like the original Eden, would call on the latest hi-tech features to simulate the climatic conditions of other parts of the world. Temperature and humidity would be controlled by a series of sensors linked to a computer system.
It is understood that a number of gardens would be created, each representing different gardening designs around Britain. The indoor micro-climate would make it an all-year-round attraction.
Read more about the Eden Project here .