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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 March, 2005, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Developer quits Guildford Civic
The future of the Guildford Civic is in doubt after developers pulled out of a renovation project.

Guildford Borough Council closed the entertainment venue on 4 January 2004 saying it was too expensive to run.

It has remained empty ever since, but Taylor Woodrow won a contract to rebuild the venue on London Road.

The company said it had now withdrawn because of uncontrollable delays and commercial issues, but the council called the decision a "huge annoyance".

'Commercial criteria'

Taylor Woodrow had already carried out initial checks on the ground conditions and the revamped venue had been due to open its doors again in 2006 or 2007.

Councillor Andrew Hodges, leader of the council, said of Taylor Woodrow's decision: "To say we are very disappointed would be an understatement, particularly in the light of the huge amount of time and effort that has been put into this project."

Taylor Woodrow said they shared the council's disappointment: "Unfortunately, delays outside our control and that of the council over the past year prevented us from implementing plans when and in the way we would have liked.

"Regretfully, after careful review the project no longer meets our normal commercial criteria and we are unable to proceed under the original terms."

The council said it was now looking at other options for redeveloping the civic hall.

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