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Gloucester Take Next Step for Stadium

22 December 2004

22 December 2004
Gloucester Rugby Club can now take the next step in looking at further developing its Kingsholm ground after councillors agreed planning permission for a proposed new 7,000 seated stand.

The new stand, which could replace the existing Grandstand structure along the side of the pitch opposition the Shed terrace, would take Gloucester's capacity from 13,000 to 16,500.

The City's councillors agreed to grant planning permission for the facility, and now the rugby club can look at timescales and finances and see if it is possible to complete in time for the start of the 2005/06 season.

The current proposal for the new stand includes 7,000 seats and a two-floored internal structure.

The ground floor will host a function room, which would act as a supporters bar on matchdays, with a capacity for 1,500 fans, a ticket office, a supporters shop, and players changing rooms.

The first floor of the proposed new stand will include a corporate lounge and boxes, kitchen facilities, media facilities, and new staff offices.

There will also be the relocation of the existing study support centre, provided through a government initiative, to create after-school teaching for disadvantaged children. The facility is currently located in the present Grandstand and is very much part of the new proposal.

The new proposed stand comes on the back of the 3,000-seated Buildbase Stand that was constructed in the summer of 2004, and took the ground's capacity from 11,000 to 13,000.

Commenting on the Club's managing director Ken Nottage said: "It's great news for everyone, but now we have to focus on the project and fine tune every detail and every timescale.

"If we go ahead with the project, we need to make a decision whether it will be for the start of the 2005/06 season or the next one.

"There are a huge number of logistics to take into account, and over the next few weeks we'll be working on it."

The new proposal will not only offer 7,000 new seats, but also improved facilities to build the club as a business away from matchdays, including conferences and public events in the new building.

"The new Buildbase Stand has been a huge success at Kingsholm, and it's only been up and running just over three months," Nottage added.

"This new proposal is the next step. We want to stay in Kingsholm and you only have to look at what Gloucester is like on match day to see how important it is to the city and the community.

"The new facility has much more than just 7,000 new seats, and that can only be good for the Club as a whole.

"We've met with local residents and other people who we feel are part of this project and if we progress with it, we will make it work for everyone."

The Club has already introduced a successful park and ride scheme from Barnwood that operates on matchdays, as well as a partnership with locally-based bus company Swanbrook.