Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Wembley National Stadium Limited

1.  What is the position regarding the design and financing of the Stadium at the end of January 2001?

  At a Board meeting of the Football Association on 1 February, the FA approved a revised and enhanced package of financial support for the Wembley Project with a view to returning to the City for fundraising in April 2001. The design remains essentially unchanged.

2.  What is the timetable for demolition and construction as of the end of January 2001?

  Assuming fundraising is successful, WNSL expects to commence demolition in June 2001 with a view to completing construction by December 2004.

3.  What is the Company's response to the issues relating to the sale of the twin towers raised in debate in the House of Commons on 29 November?

  WNSL has always been enthusiastic about the preservation of the twin towers, but with the proviso that it does not impinge financially on the development of the new stadium. WNSL has worked closely with Halton Borough Council on exploring the possibility that parts of the towers would be transported to the north-west to form part of a Rugby League museum. However on the appointment of a preferred main contractor and a demolition contractor, it became clear that isolating the towers during the demolition programme would add roughly £10 million to the construction of the new stadium. Halton made it clear that it could not provide recompense to WNSL for such a sum and, following one further letter from the Chief Executive of Halton BC expressing disappointment, contact between WNSL and Halton BC effectively ceased.

  WNSL is confused by a subsequent media statement by Halton BC to the effect that they could remove the towers within weeks. This would, of course, be contrary to listed building consent, something of which Halton BC, as a planning authority, should properly be aware.

4.  Has final agreement been reached regarding the payment of £20 million to Sport England and will the timetable be as set out in your memorandum?

  At the time of writing the payment is still a matter of discussion between WNSL, the FA, Sport England and the Secretary of State.

5.  What is the estimated cost of making the Stadium available for an athletics event on a commercial basis?

  There is no standard hire fee for Wembley as the nature and costs of each event (eg timing, staffing and policing) vary. The most useful comparison may be with a day-long concert at the stadium where Wembley could expect to cover variable costs and receive additional revenue of circa £200,000 to cover fixed costs and profit. This cost, multiplied by the number of days in the event, would, of course, be in addition to the cost of any conversion to an athletics mode.

February 2001

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