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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 19:41 GMT 20:41 UK
Turf is laid at Wembley Stadium
Laying turf at Wembley stadium
Wembley will not be ready until September 2006 at the earliest
The first strips of turf have been laid at Wembley, moving the 757m stadium beset by delays and complications a step closer to completion.

It will take a week to lay the pitch, which was grown at a secret location in Lincolnshire during construction.

Michael Cunnah, chief executive of Wembley Stadium, said the turf going down was a "significant milestone" in the stadium's progress.

The venue is not likely to be finished until September at the earliest.

"This new pitch will provide the stage for many great events to come and will be the place where new memories will be created," said Mr Cunnah.

Stadium grounds manager Steve Welch said a lot of energy and planning had gone into ensuring the quality of the pitch construction and turf, and the design of the stadium bowl.

'Overcome weather'

He said while the current climate was not ideal, the turf had been well-watered at the turf nurseries.

"So like all times, we groundsmen in Britain overcome the weather conditions," he added.

The project was due to have been completed in August 2005, but the delays have led to many events, including this year's FA Cup Final, being rescheduled.

The stadium's builders Multiplex and sub-contractor Cleveland Bridge have been locked in a protracted legal dispute over alleged breach of contract.

Meanwhile, in Highbury, north London, Arsenal's former home, the turf is being removed after 93 years to make way for the ground's redevelopment into homes.

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25 Apr 06 |  Business

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