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Wembley ready for 2007 final, says client and contractor

Wembley will be ready in time to host the 2007 FA Cup Final, Multiplex and Wembley National Stadium (WNSL) confirmed yesterday.
The contractor and client confirmed they had reached a settlement and avoided a legal dispute over a number of issues, including the contractor's claims to entitlement of extensions of time to October 2007 because of delays caused by late design changes.It is understood that the agreement has seen £70M added to the £458M construction bill. Multiplex chief executive Andrew Roberts said: 'We are very pleased to have reached agreement with WNSL and the FA to put our past differences behind us, and put all our joint efforts into completing Wembley Stadium at the earliest opportunity.' The agreement is conditional on WNSL obtaining consent from its financiers, with the client understood to have agreed to take on £34M in liquidated damages. Multiplex has agreed to complete its work at the same time as WNSL works onsite, applying the finishing touches such as installing radio and communications equipment. It is hoped that this will ensure the stadium will complete its test events earlier than envisaged in previous progress updates. WNSL chief executive Michael Cunnah said: 'This project was founded on the shared desire of WNSL and Multiplex to create a truly special stadium and it is very appropriate that we should enter the final stages of the project working together to get the stadium operational. Multiplex played an intrinsic part in getting this stadium project up off the ground and I am delighted to be working together to achieve our original vision.' Both sides will now work together to get the stadium ready for its first events, booked for February 2007.

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