Bristol Rovers unveil plans for new stadium

March 9, 2012

From Bristol 24-7

Bristol Rovers have today unveiled detailed plans for their new stadium at the University of the West of England.

The club could be playing home matches at ‘The UWE’ at the start of the 2014/15 season if plans to build a new 21,700 all-seater arena next to the Frenchay campus are approved.

The plans for the stadium include an extensive club shop, banqueting and hospitality suite, convenience store, gym, jogging track and teaching space.

The stadium will be a bowl design, which makes use of the sloping ground to minimise the height of the structure and the impact on the local skyline, and reduce light and noise pollution.

It will also benefit from transport links, including; the A4174, Abbey Wood and Parkway train stations and bus services and close links to the motorways. There will also be a large car park with space for 1,000 cars and coaches – with additional 1,500 spaces available on the campus if deemed necessary.

Chairman Nick Higgs said in a statement on the club website: “This is a hugely important step towards securing the future of Bristol Rovers and is an exciting milestone for everyone connected with the club.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the football club and the South West as a whole, which will benefit so many people.

“We believe this new stadium will not only benefit Bristol Rovers and Bristol Rugby Club, but also the wider community.”

Bristol Rugby will be invited to share the stadium, plans of which have been made alongside consultation with local residents and businesses. Rovers played home games at Bath City's Twerton ground for a number of years after quitting its original home at Eastville. It then moved to what was then Bath Rugby's Memorial Ground in Horfield to ground share with the rugby club.

“We feel we have submitted a very comprehensive planning application, which we hope will be viewed favourably by everyone involved,” Mr Higgs added.

“During the planning process we have looked at trying to bring together the best bits from a number of different stadiums around the country.

“We would like to emulate the success of clubs like Reading, Swansea and Brighton, who started with a similar fanbase to us, and have achieved great things since moving to a new stadium.

“As well as helping to attract new fans, a new stadium can also attract better players, along with more sponsor s and investors, which will help further secure the future of the club.”

The move will be financed in part by the sale of the Memorial Stadium to Sainsbury’s which, last month, unveiled its latest redevelopment plans, admitting it has learned lessons from the planning wrangle over its controversial Ashton Gate scheme.

The plans include a 50,000 sq ft store, up to five small retail units and a ‘home zone’ with 68 homes ranging from three-bedroom town houses to flats. The scheme would create around 350 jobs.

But Green Party campaigners have vowed to fight the plans, saying the supermarket was not needed or wanted, and would “suck the life out of Gloucester Road”.


Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across the Bath area for just £75 a month. Email for more information.