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Laing O'Rourke has lost out after Liverpool's European Capital of Culture flagship project, the Fourth Grace, was axed this week following rising costs.

The scheme, designed by architect Will Alsop, had initially been priced at £228 million but current estimates place the project at £324 million.The firm refused to comment on the decision to drop the scheme. Laing O'Rourke had guaranteed the project would be complete by the 2008 Capital of Culture year and was expecting to be on site in January.