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Wembley on hold

THE DESIGNERS of London's troubled Wembley Stadium project, the UK's national soccer stadium, are to be stood down in advance of talks on its future.

And with no construction signed, preferred bidder Multiplex could end up empty handed after City institutions and the Football Association shied away from investing in the project.

An emergency board meeting of Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL) was expected to decide on freezing the design Consultant Mott MacDonald and architect Sir Norman Foster are expected to be told to wrap up work awaiting a decision by a government committee.

Sources close to the design team said they were expecting the news. One said it had been intended that the design contract with WSNL would be novated to Multiplex once funding was complete to enable progress through construction. Over 80% of design work is believed to be complete and paid for.

The Wembley spokesman said that until the government committee decided on the future of the project, it would not be known if design work done so far could be used on a revised scheme, or if the project team could be retained.

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