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Wembley towers find new home - at rugby museum


Wembley's famous twin towers will be rebuilt at the new National Rugby League Museum in Runcorn under plans being drawn up by Liverpool architect Ormrod & Partners.

The towers are due to be demolished this autumn to make way for the new Foster and Partners/hok+Lobb-designed national stadium. They will then be shipped or driven to the Northwest to form the basis of the £6 million museum being planned for a site next to the Runcorn Bridge which spans the Mersey.

Officials at Halton Council convinced Rugby League's administrators to pick its Merseyside brownfield site by proposing to rescue the Wembley towers (built in 1924). Rugby League is predominantly a northern sport, but the final of its flagship cup competition has always been played at Wembley. Ormrod & Partners plans to transport the tops of both towers at a cost of around £2 million, then use one for a five-level Rugby League 'hall of fame' and the other to house a miniature cinema for historic sport footage. In London the towers are currently used to store equipment and paraphernalia from the 1948 Olympic Games held at the stadium. The towers will be part of a larger 6500m2 development featuring other buildings for commercial uses.

Council chief executive Tony McDermott said that he is in negotiation with Wembley over buying the structures and added that the local authority is looking to pay no more than £10,000 for both. 'The towers would be a formidable feature for the museum and the 80,000 people who travel over the bridge each day,' he said.

The current dispute between the builders of the new Wembley and Brent Council over planning permission for the new stadium has raised doubts over exactly when the existing stadium will be demolished. If Wembley's plans are rejected when they go to planning committee next month, an appeal could mean a delay of demolition for at least a year.

Quantic Associates has won planning permission for this £10 million office development in central Croydon for Silverdown Properties, which it designed in collaboration with planning consultant Jones Lang LaSalle. The design features two blocks separated by a full height central atrium. The 10,000m2 building will be clad in a metallic silver aluminium rainscreen, interspersed with large areas of glazing.

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