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Local labour scores jobs

Major contractors will sign agreement to take on percentage of local workforce to build Salford stadium

BIG NAME contractors scrummaging for a £100 million stadium and leisure scheme in the north-west will have to use local labour for the job.

Around 4,000 workmen will be needed to build a 20,000-seat stadium for rugby league side Salford City Reds, as well as a 208-bedroom hotel and a 10,000 sq m casino.

The managing director of developer Red City Developments, Adam Thomas, said: 'Contractors will have to sign a local employment charter. This means they have to take on a certain percentage as local trainees.' Up to 8 per cent of the workforce - around 360 people - are expected to be local.

Around 2,000 post-construction jobs will be created, 80 per cent of which will be offered to local people.

Firms expected to receive documents when tenders go out next March include Commonwealth Games stadium builder Laing O'Rourke, Carillion and Bovis Lend Lease. Multiplex and Mowlem are also likely to feature.

Scheme designer ArupSport and project manager Mace both worked on the Commonwealth stadium.

The contract is expected to be a singlestage design and build deal with a contractor appointed by autumn 2004. Work on site will start next Christmas and take 70 weeks.

The rugby league side is hoping to move away from its current ground, the Willows, which has been its home since 1901, by March 2006.

The complex has been designed as a single structure with the hotel joining onto the stadium and the casino being constructed under the pitch.

A 24,000 sq m retail park will also be built close to the scheme, which is on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal at Barton next to the M60 motorway.

Mr Thomas said he hoped planning authority Salford City Council will give the scheme the green light in October.

But it may be referred to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott for final approval because of the retail element.

A second phase of work, which will be a mixed-use scheme of office and industrial space, is due to be finished by 2010.