TWO firms have moved centre-stage in an £18 million contest to build the country's biggest dance centre outside London.
Laing O'Rourke and Shepherd have gone head to head for the Leeds deal, which will double as the base for the Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance touring companies. It is curtains for Barr, the third contender, whose pitch has been ruled out.
The scheme includes five dance studios and a smaller performance studio to be built in the Quarry Hill area of the city.
The project, for Taylor Woodrow Developments, is due to start on site next month for a summer 2007 finish.