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Monday, 15 May, 2000, 22:42 GMT 23:42 UK
Mayor's 25m boost for Wembley
Wembley Stadium
New-look Wembley stadium could now get go-ahead
The redevelopment of Wembley Stadium looks set to go ahead after new London mayor Ken Livingstone promised a 25m cash injection.

The project had stalled over the cost of upgrading the transport infrastructure round the stadium which was seen as crucial factor for Brent Council to approve the planning application.

But Mr Livingstone pledged the money at a meeting with council leader Paul Daisley last Friday.

The council's planning officers will give their verdict on the redevelopment plans next week and the planning committee will rubber stamp the deal at Brent Town Hall on 1 June.


Twin Towers
The twin towers will vanish in the redevelopment
"By lending his support for this project, Ken Livingstone has effectively tied a ribbon around a world-class present not just for the people of Brent and London but for the nation as a whole," Mr Daisley said.

"This injection of money will almost certainly ensure that our planners can write a report which recommends that the planning committee approves the stadium application and strengthens England's bid for the 2006 World Cup Finals. I am delighted."

Brent Council has insisted transport problems around the stadium be solved before it gives its backing to the redeveloped stadium which will see the famous twin towers disappear.

There is poor access to the current stadium with traffic queues regularly backing on to the nearby North Circular Road.

Regeneration

Many businesses are forced to shut down on match days and the Wembley Park tube station does not have the capacity to cope with the number of fans travelling to and from the ground.

The company in charge of the stadium's redevelopment, Wembley National Stadium Ltd, have been reluctant to invest in improved transport links round the ground.

But Chelsea chairman Ken Bates and Sir Nigel Mobbs, chairman of the Wembley taskforce, worked out a deal and Mr Livingstone's promise of cash has made up the shortfall.

Wembley spokesman Chris Palmer welcomed Mr Livingstone's windfall but was reluctant to comment further until planning permission was granted.

"We will wait until planning permission has been granted before throwing our hats into the air," he said.

"We have always argued that the new stadium and the 2,000 new jobs it will create will lead to the regeneration of the Wembley area.

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