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27Jan94 UK: BULL RING TO SETTLE FOR FACELIFT.

Hopes are high that work to revamp Birmingham's Bull Ring will finally get under way next year.But the latest talks between developer London and Edinburgh Trust and the city council reveal the emphasis has changed from a £500 million wholesale demolition of the centre and new build to a phased programme of refurbishment.It is understood that LET could not raise sufficient financial backing for total redevelopment and will shortly put forward outline proposals for a new scheme.It is not clear if LET will have to get a new permission from the Department of the Environment for the revamped project, but Phil Dawson, who is in charge of Birmingham's major projects department, said he believed the new proposals would hasten the start of construction, although the scheme would now be phased over a number of years.It is ironic that the proposed demolition of the 20-storey Rotunda building - which led to bitter arguments about the original scheme - will now probably be scrapped alongside plans for a replacement skyscraper building. Instead, the Rotunda is likely to be refurbished. CONSTRUCTION NEWS