TAYLOR Woodrow has nipped in to negotiate a 20 million contract to build a stadium for Reading FC, shocking other firms which were still expecting tender documents to be issued for the scheme.
The firm has sidestepped the tender process to land a deal to design and build the 25,000 all-seater stadium. But it now appears certain that other contractors, including Mowlem, Tilbury Douglas and Trafalgar House, also tried to prequalify for the job.
The club is currently working on a legal agreement and its chief executive, Nigel Howe declined to comment on any appointments but did confirm a start on site remains scheduled for September.
The project only secured planning permission last month and must be ready by August 1997. The club is believed to have chosen to negotiate a deal because it needs an all-seater ground by the 1996/97 season to comply with the requirements of the Taylor Report.
The scheme, sited at a former tip in Smallmead, includes 28 executive boxes, hospitality and banqueting suites and 3,500 parking spaces.
An announcement on a 10 million contract to reclaim Smallmead Tip is imminent. Birse, Costain, Edmund Nuttall and Morrison all returned bids by the May 10 deadline and a start on site is likely to be immediate.
Taywood has already won contracts to build football stadiums for Oxford United and Derby County and is one of two left in the race for the 106 million redevelopment of Cardiff Arms Park.