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McAlpine team looks bound for Ally Pally

AN ALFRED McAlpine-led consortium is the preferred bidder in a 55 million competition to redevelop the debt-ridden Alexandra Palace in north London.

Three firms were selected for a final shortlist from an original entry of 15. But the Mercury Group and the Alexandra Partnership, headed by Taylor Woodrow, were beaten at the post by the Alexandra Palace 1999 group.

The winning consortium, which also includes Champions Leisure and Pillar Property Investment, will now present a detailed planning application to the client, Haringey Council.

The scheme comprises refurbishment of many of the palace's historic features, including its Victorian theatre, Eastern and Palm Court pavilions and the ice rink.

Also included is a 15-screen multiplex cinema, bowling alley, a new piazza and water sports centre on adjacent land presently owned by Thames Water Utilities.

A start on site has yet to be scheduled, but discussions have already taken place with prospective tenants.