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Chris Wilkinson wins Magna scheme after Clash snub

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Chris Wilkinson Architects has won the competitive interview to design the Magna Project in Rotherham, from which Clash Associates was dropped after a successful application for Millennium Commission funding. Wilkinson was the successful respondent to the Magna Trust's advertisement in the eu Journal for a new design team to work up a concept by rtkl which differed substantially from the one that Clash had produced (aj 7.5.98).

The Magna Trust said that its legal agreement with the Millennium Commission had now been signed, allowing it to start drawing down the £18.6 million grant for the conversion of the former Templeborough steel works into a visitor attraction. It has also had grants approved in principle from the European Regional Development Fund (£8.9 million) and English Partnerships (£5.5 million) towards the total cost of £37.2 million. It plans to launch the project formally in September.

Clash Associates' original scheme used the entire building and created a mixed-use centre including educational exhibits, 9000m2 of commercial exhibition space, an art gallery and shops. The rtkl scheme abandons the commercial exhibition space and demolishes about one-third of the building.

A spokesman for Chris Wilkinson Architects said: 'The rtkl scheme was presented for funding purposes. We can't deviate in principle, but we can in concept and context.'

Ruth Slavid

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