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Winner of Blackfriars scheme selected 'in a few weeks' . . .

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Architects for a huge, dramatic riverside scheme in the City, initially masterplanned by Sir Norman Foster, will be chosen within a few weeks.

The redevelopment at Blackfriars is opposite the new Tate Galley and would be one of the largest in the capital. The scheme, consisting of conference facilities, theatre, offices and retail at Puddle Dock, will cover 120,000m2. It may blend with a new rail link.

Stuart Bailey, a director at Blackfriars Investment, which is working with one of the scheme's backers, Mallory Clifford's Blackfriars Investment Management, would not say which architects were in the running. He said the design's form would hinge on what happened in the next 18 months with the rail link: 'We would ideally like it to tie in with our scheme because it will link with Luton, Gatwick and maybe Heathrow airports. We will look at a large development, or a single phase not relying on the Thames Link.'

Foster and Partners, which started masterplanning in 1996, would not comment.

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