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Wednesday, 26 April, 2000, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
League rescues twin towers
Wembley
On the move: From north London to northern England
Wembley's famous twin towers are to be moved 200 miles - to a proposed rugby museum.

The world-famous towers at the head of Wembley Way have inspired the dreams of football and rugby fans for decades.

Halton Borough Council said the historic white towers would be re-built in Widnes, Cheshire, to form part of its 5m bid for a new National Rugby Museum.



This is a wonderful opportunity to put Halton on the map.

Tony McDermott
Halton council
The towers were due to be demolished to make way for a new Wembley stadium with modern facilities.

Wembley, which is staging its last few football matches over the summer, is also the traditional venue for the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final.

Halton council officials negotiated for the nine-storey towers to be "gifted" to the borough and have been given until December to remove them.

A spokeswoman said the council was hopeful its museum bid would be successful.

But she added she did not know what the council would do with Wembley's towers if the bid was unsuccessful.

Million pound move

Council leader Tony McDermott said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to put Halton on the map.

"We have got over the first hurdle with the National Rugby League, now we need to put a package and a partnership together to make it a reality."

A team of architects will now begin a 1m operation to move the two towers from their north London home to a plot of derelict land on the banks of the Mersey, next to the Runcorn bridge.

Plans for the new museum include relocating the twin towers on either side of a manicured lawn area with rugby league goal posts as a centrepiece.

A courtyard will stand behind the towers surrounded by an annexe containing display galleries, a library, a Wembley gallery and a themed restaurant.

As part of the deal, the design team at New Wembley retains the right for the sports stadium to keep the towers, if it decides to change its plans to accommodate them.

But that is understood to be only a remote possibility.

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See also:

10 Apr 00 | Football
Wembley faces major delay
14 Dec 99 | Sport
Wembley faces rival bid
22 Dec 99 | Sport
Athletics loses Wembley battle
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