Twin Towers rescue bid falls through

9 Nov 00
An audacious plan by Halton Borough Council in Cheshire to move one of England's greatest sporting landmarks Wembley's Twin Towers from London to the north west has ended in failure, sparking an acrimonious row over money.

10 November 2000

Negotiations broke down this week between the council and Wembley National Stadium Ltd, with Wembley claiming Halton's plans would delay the £325m project to build a new national stadium.

Halton wanted to transport the towers to form the centrepiece of a national rugby league museum in Widnes. It calculated this would cost £3m, which would be met by private developers.

Wembley said Halton's was the 'only serious bid' among several 'loony schemes' it had received. But it was willing to approve the move only if the council indemnified it against potential delays to the overall contract to build the new stadium. The bill for this was £10m.

But Halton leader Tony McDermott said this demand was 'unrelenting and shameless'. He added: 'It's a real shame for the country as we had an airtight plan to save the twin towers, which are a national landmark.

'Many people felt that a small borough like Halton would not be able to pull off such a spectacular coup but we had everything in place.'

Halton said the rugby museum which, it hopes, will help regenerate the local economy, would still go ahead.

Against such a background, Wembley pulled out 'with great regret', denying that it had 'stitched the council up'.

In total, 70 rugby league cup finals have been played under the gaze of the Twin Towers since 1929.


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