Robert Bourne (developer)
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Robert Bourne (born 16 May 1951) is a British property developer, entrepreneur and philanthropist who was born in London, UK. Bourne has amassed a vast property and leisure empire in London and France and has achieved wide recognition for his patronage of the dramatic arts with his wife, theatre impresario, Sally Greene OBE.
Bourne established an International Division which includes two prestigious hotels in France, in Courchevel and St Tropez. However in a move widely condemned locally, Bourne purchased and immediately gave notice of closing within a month the charming little zoo of St Jean Cap Ferrat, with animals to be dispersed elsewhere and replaced by a luxury spa. He later agreed to sell the land and zoo at the price he paid, i.e. around 20 million Euros, to any public body interested in buying.
He and his wife park their two luxury cars outside their house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. They are recognisable by their personalised number plates - "2 BE" and "NOT 2B".
In 2001 Robert Bourne led a consortium of high-profile investors in a bid to buy the Millennium Dome from the Government. The Legacy consortium bid £125m for the Dome, planning to turn it into a high-tech “Knowledge City”.
The Old Vic
In 1998 The Old Vic was in decline and faced threats of becoming a lap dancing club. After public outcry and a plea from the Culture Secretary, Chris Smith for a patron to step forward and purchase the theatre. Robert Bourne and Sally Greene set up The Old Vic Theatre Trust, acquired the theatre, and secured its position as an iconic London landmark. In 2003 Bourne and his wife persuaded Oscar-winning American actor Kevin Spacey to take on the role as artistic director, and the theatre has never looked back.
- Bremner, Charles. "Sunday Times Rich List 2005". The Times. (subscription required)
- Nice Matin, 15 October 2009
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- "Dome bidder foresees fast profit". BBC News. 9 January 2001. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
- "Old Vic theatre saved". BBC News. 3 July 1998. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
- Spencer, Charles (26 April 2004). "'The Old Vic building itself seemed to speak to me'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 June 2008.