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Multiplex puts Wembley boss on Shard project

Australian contractor appoints stadium chief to London Bridge Shard team

MULTIPLEX has drafted one of its former Wembley stadium bosses onto the team carrying out preconstruction work for the London Bridge tower project.

Stuart Cursley has been appointed commercial manager on the scheme, better known as the Shard.

The Aussie builder has been working with developer Sellar Property Group for two years and is understood to be working on the methodology for the 300m-high tower.

No construction contract has been formally awarded and other firms ? including Bovis Lend Lease and Laing O'Rourke ? are also eyeing up the work.

But one rival admitted: 'If I was Multiplex, I'd be disappointed if I didn't get the job.' Construction work is expected to cost £350 million with a deal set to be hammered out next year. Sellar wants to let a significant amount of the 54,000 sqm of office space before pressing on with building work.

Under its programme, the developer wants construction to start in the third quarter of 2007, with completion pencilled in for the end of 2010.

Part of the work involves demolishing a nearby office block occupied by accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

A planning application to rebuild the Southern Towers office block was sent to Southwark Borough Council last month.

The rebuilt office block will be linked to the Shard via a concourse under the plans to revamp the area, which will be known as the London Bridge Quarter.

Multiplex has asked Simon Cook to move across to its White City retail development scheme in west London to take up the position of project director.

Mr Cook is currently part of the management team at Wembley.

He will make the switch at the end of next month and replaces Australian Rob Lockett, who leaves in April to head back to Melbourne.