Examination of Witness (Questions 356
WEDNESDAY 14 MARCH 2001
Chairman: Sir Nigel, not only would I
like to thank you for coming here today but for being kind enough
to change your engagements in order to come here at short notice.
It is much appreciated. You may care to know, in view of your
own distinguished service on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission,
that the only reason Mrs Golding is not here today is because
she is at a meeting of that Commission.
356. Could I ask what the total level of investment
now committed to the Wembley area is and has its transport infrastructure
been dealt with by the task force?
(Sir Nigel Mobbs) The total is approximately
£130 million. It would perhaps be wrong to say it has been
totally committed yet but we have indications of commitment which
would include support from the section 106 agreement, which has
not yet been signed by Wembley National Stadium Limited but is
likely to be soon. It includes support from London Underground
which is still to be confirmed once they get planning permission
for the improved and enhanced Wembley Park Station. It includes
£25 million from the SRB6 bid which was made and confirmed
last July, which mainly is to fund a road to connect back to the
north circular road. There is some residual funding from an earlier
SRB programme. Those are the main components of the £130
million, but there are other bits within that which deal with
357. There is a proposed sale of land by Wembley
plc. Do you think that will create any more sporting opportunities
and developments in the area?
(Sir Nigel Mobbs) It is very difficult to say at the
moment because we have not been able to discover the firm details
on the proposed sale by Wembley plc of land. The role of the task
force is to try and promote and encourage the regeneration of
the area which is in part covered by the Wembley plc land. I expect
that in the ultimate a cocktail of uses will come into the regeneration
which could well include some sporting facilities, entertainment,
work places etc, but there is not yet a master plan and that will
depend to some extent on finding the right developer who might
buy Wembley plc.
358. Mr Geoff Thompson of the FA told us that
you had a role in negotiating the £20 million payment associated
with the removal of athletics from Wembley. What was your precise
(Sir Nigel Mobbs) I was asked by the Secretary of
State in December 1999 to review the question of athletics at
Wembley, to look at the difficulties and design features and also
to see whether there was the ability to recover some of the Lottery
funding which had been advanced to the stadium company in the
event that athletics were not to be included in the design. I
looked at that and gave advice to the Secretary of State. He then
asked me to negotiate with the FA, the result of which was a hand
shake agreement to repay £20 million of the Lottery funding.
359. It is difficult to know where to start
because you are coming back to front, are you not?
(Sir Nigel Mobbs) I suppose you could say that.