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Three chase stadium jobs

A trio of firms is pricing a pair of stadium deals in Essex and Lancashire worth £26 million in total.
Hall Construction, Barr and Jackson Construction are all pricing a £10 million deal to build a football ground for Colchester United, promoted to the Championship for the first time in its history last season.

And the same three have been joined by Carillion to work up bids for a stadium for rugby league side Leigh Centurions. The team made headlines recently with the arrival of Aussie coach Ian Millward, who has coached Super League giants St Helens and Wigan.

Both deals are due to be awarded in August.

The stadium in Colchester will be built at Cuckoo Farm on the northern outskirts of the town after club bosses decided the U's existing 6,300-capacity Layer Road ground was too small.

A club spokesman said: 'Layer Road was built in 1909 and is a typical old-fashioned town centre ground. The new stadium will be a great home, where we can hopefully push for another promotion.'

The football club, which is looking for a new manager after Phil Parkinson left last month to take charge of Hull City, has teamed up with Colchester Borough Council for the project, which will also be a venue for summer sports camps.

If the club does win promotion to the Premiership, the ground has been designed so capacity can be increased to 18,000.

The stadium is due to be completed in time for the 2007-8 season and has seen costs rise by 25 per cent.

The stadium is part of Colchester Borough Council's £25 million regeneration plan that includes a new fitness centre, hotel, restaurant and offices.

Further north, tenders for the £16 million Leigh Sports Village were returned this week to client Greenbank Partnership, a private developer working in tandem with the local council.

Work on the 10,000-capacity ground is set to start this November.