A spokesman for NMEC said Hewes had been appointed on a six-month contract starting on the 26 June, and is responsible for winding down the affairs of the company when it is enters voluntary liquidation a the end of the year.
Previously Hewes served as FD at NMEC on a six-month contract from 14 December last year.
‘He is now the chief executive on a new six-month contract. His annualised salary [as FD and CE] works out at Pounds 300,000,’ the spokesman said.
This is more than treble the salary earned by predecessor Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, who launched a failed attempt to buy the Dome and to run it as an entertainment venue.
The apppointment of Hewes comes soon after NMEC released its first annual report.
The report said that, in terms of costs, the Dome and its contents had fallen within a projected budget of Pounds 750m. Executive chairman David James said the biggest problem had been the failure to attract a forecasted twelve million visitors.
Despite being the most popular tourist attraction in Britain with more than six million visitors going through its turnstiles, the Greenwich attraction was forced to ask for an addition al Pounds 230m in National Lottery grants to keep it operational.
James said other shortcomings had been weak financial controls, the lack of a plan for dealing with the Dome’s contents and poor management. As examples James said sponsorship and donations were supposed to add up to Pounds 175m but had only raised Pounds 119m,while retailing only managed a profit of Pounds 2m, against a projected Pounds 24m.
In addition, NMEC failed to consider the estimated Pounds 30m cost in closing down the Dome.
Last week in parliament, shadow culture secretary Peter Ainsworth, a constant critic of the Dome, pointed out the costs involved in maintaining it since it closed.
In January it cost Pounds 2.6m to run, in February the bill ran to Pounds 1.6m while the bill for June was projected at Pounds 500,000. Ainsworth said the bill for maintenance and closure since the Dome closed its doors in December was Pounds 7.4m.
No buyer has yet been found for the embattled project, although the Wellcome Trust, Britain’s wealthiest charity with Pounds 15bn of assets, emerged over the weekend as a possible bidder with plans of turning the massive indoor venue into a technology research centre.
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