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Hopefuls in training for £25m sports job

CONTRACTS HERTFORDSHIRE

RIVAL firms are circling a £25 million deal to refurbish and redevelop two leisure centres in Hertfordshire.

William Verry, Leadbitter, Laing O'Rourke and Dutch specialist leisure contractor Pellikaan are pricing the deal, which will see Watford's leisure centre and swimming baths redeveloped.

The firms returned tenders to Watford Borough Council last week and a winner is expected to be announced in December.

Council project manager Kate Hall said: 'The central baths will undergo a complete demolishment and rebuild. The Watford leisure centre will be stripped down to a shell and entirely redeveloped, with an eight-lane pool constructed next to the building.'

Both centres will have swimming pools and a range of state-of-the-art sports facilities, such as a gym, fitness suite and squash courts. Work will start in January and completion is planned for mid-2008.