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Funding deal set to release Wembley design work

MOTT MACDONALD and architect Foster & Partners are set to be handed design of the new 240M Wembley Stadium within the next six weeks - six months later than expected.

Formal design contracts were expected to be signed in June this year following announcement in May that the pair had been selected to design the new stadium.

But the appointment has been delayed by contract and funding negotiations between property developer The English National Stadium Development Company, stadium owner Wembley plc and the Sports Council, which will provide 120M lottery funding.

'People were over-optimistic,' said English National Stadium Trust director Bob Heaver. 'What is driving all the parties is to ensure that it is not a white elephant. The Sports Council does not want to put money into a loss maker.'

Heaver said he expected the funding and purchase arrangements to be completed in the next two to three weeks with formal appointment of engineers and architects following about four weeks later.

'The negotiations are taking time because we want to get the funding and the structure correct,' explained Heaver.

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