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Costain nets school sports academy from football chief

CONTRACTS BERKSHIRE

COSTAIN has bagged a £15 million contract to build a sporting academy in Reading for local businessman John Madejski.

Mr Madejski is one of the richest men in the country ? last year he shelled out £5 million for a sculpture by French master Edgar Degas ? after making his fortune selling his publishing business, which included Auto Trader secondhand car magazine.

Mr Madejski, who is also chairman of the town's highflying Championship football team, is developing the academy in partnership with the Department for Education and Skills to allow underprivileged children to develop their sporting talents.

The academy will be a specialist secondary school, catering for 11-18 year olds, in the Whitley area of the town ? close to the Royals' home ground, the Madejski stadium.

The development will include 9,500 sq m of single and two storey buildings with IT suites and administration blocks.

Sporting facilities will include an all-weather pitch, tennis courts and two sports halls.

Costain, which initially won the demolition package, is due to be formally awarded the main deal next month. Construction work will finish by winter 2007.