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O'Rourke tipped to take Old Trafford extension

LAING O'Rourke is preparing to enter the theatre of dreams after becoming favourite to bag a £43 million extension to Manchester United's Old Trafford football ground.

The team is believed to have edged ahead of regular rivals Sir Robert McAlpine and Mowlem. Japanese firm Kajima has also been left disappointed.The scheme involves adding 7,900 seats to the recently redeveloped North Stand by filling in the ground's north-west and north-east corners.The club said costs had increased by £3 million because of rising material and building prices.

One unsuccessful bidder said: 'We've all but ruled ourselves out. O'Rourke have had their bill of quantities called and that's game over.'