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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 July, 2004, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Wembley arch workers' jobs saved
The Wembley arch
The stadium arch is more than 400ft tall
The jobs of about 250 County Durham engineering staff working on the new Wembley Stadium have been saved.

The men were employed by Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge, which has now quit the project.

It was feared the men would lose their jobs after Cleveland Bridge failed to reach an agreement on their transfer.

But the stadium's project leader Multiplex has confirmed a deal to retain the staff with a new sub-contractor.

Cleveland Bridge supplied a huge steel arch costing 60m, which is the centrepiece of the new ground.

A spokesman for Multiplex said the men had been signed onto the books of workforce agency Fast Track.

Welding faults

The deal was reached on Tuesday after negotiations between union officials and Fast Track, Multiplex, Cleveland Bridge and Hollandia, the Dutch-based company which has taken over on-site steel erection at Wembley.

Union officials have welcomed the deal to secure the jobs.

The 1,800-tonne arch, which has a span of 315m, can be seen across London.

The raising of the arch was delayed in March after tests showed weak spots.

Computer tests found welding faults and problems with the concrete foundations.

Multiplex Construction UK, the contractor for the Wembley Stadium project, said the defects were discovered during "quality assurance checks".

The stadium is due to open in 2006.

The 2006 FA Cup Final is set to be the stadium's first match.

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