Gloucester City have revealed scaled down plans for the new stadium at Meadow Park in a bid to return to Gloucester for the 2019-20 season. The team has been playing at Evesham since floods drove the club out in 2007.
The stadium will be able to hold a little over 3,000 fans but with the potential to be built on and reach the 4,000 capacity in the original plans. Instead of a 1,000 seater stand, there will be two stands of 250 covered seats either side of the clubhouse.
The club have also made a provision of an enlarged T-End – a covered standing terrace for over 800 fans. Gloucester chairman Rod Jenner said:
The original plan for the £4million build, whilst it would have been a brilliant facility was overly ambitious.
We’re in the process of putting our funding application together now and will look to have that submitted as soon as possible.
Between Eamonn (McGurk, owner), Alex (Petheram, director) and myself we have all the resources required to deliver that ground and to do it within the timescale will require excellence of execution.
For the National League we’ve got to show how we can get 4,000 capacity and we can develop the far side of the pitch so we’ve thought about how he grow in the future.
Galway Sportsground stadium redevelopment
Connacht has announced that it will redevelop at a cost of about 30m euros and will increase capacity to 12,000 (from 8,000). The site will also house the Irish province’s new high performance training centre. Greyhound racing will continue. New features will include an all-weather playing surface, which will also be made available to soccer and Gaelic games should the demand arise.
Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said:
A key pillar of the vision for Connacht Rugby is to deliver facilities that match our ambition.
The arrangement we have reached with the Irish Greyhound Board [Sportsground co-tenants] paves the way for the delivery of modern, fit-for-purpose facilities to sustain The Sportsground as the home of club and professional rugby in the province.
Finance will be a combination of private investors and public funds – including the government’s Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund, which was established as part of the Project Ireland 2040 review of capital spending projects.
Amongst political wrangling, the future of Casement Park remains unclear. Department for Communities permanent secretary Leo O’Reilly has said the project was one of two “not being progressed in the absence of ministers”. Casement Park was originally expected to cost £77m but Stormont officials say the GAA has told them more public funding is needed. Revised plans for a 34,000 seater stadium were submitted last year.
Meanwhile, the Safety Technical Group (STG) has unanimously backed spectator safety procedures in the redevelopment plan for Casement Park. The group, comprising all the main emergency services and set up to scrutinise plans to redevelop stadia in Northern Ireland, has verified steps taken by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) to ensure the proposed 34,000-plus capacity stadium could be evacuated safely, with emergency vehicles able to get appropriate access.