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HITCHES HIT SOUTH BANK

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Design competitions for the overhaul of the South Bank Centre have been delayed by up to three months as attempts to raise funds for the project from the private sector and debates about how to execute the project continue. International competitions for three major buildings projects were due to start in June but are now on hold until the autumn, with shortlists in December. Around £38 million has been set aside by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council and private donors have been found, but far more cash from the commercial sector is needed to meet the £200 million-plus cost. Finance for the commercial projects outlined in Rick Mather's masterplan, such as a 10-storey office block and a hotel/ conference centre, remains uncertain despite cash pledges to the arts buildings.

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