Bristol City announces redevelopment of Ashton Gate option
By matt_2009 | Tuesday, February 05, 2013, 11:49
Bristol City Football Club has announced plans to redevelop Ashton Gate into a multi-purpose stadium with a capacity of more than 26,000.
Bristol City Football Club is planning to redevelop Ashton Gate.
The club's website said the stadium would be used by Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby, both of whom are overseen by the same umbrella company, Bristol Sport.
City's home in South Bristol would be redeveloped in stages over time to incorporate new stands where the existing Wedlock and Williams stands are currently sited, and these together with renovation works to the Dolman Stand would increase the capacity to more than 26,000 seats. Work would also be carried out to the interior of the Atyeo Stand.
Plans for a redeveloped Ashton Gate already include space for a club shop and museum of sport, as well a large "Wedlock's Pub" area incorporated into the site.
The club, however, has stressed that it is not going to give up its fight over hopes to build a new ground at nearby Ashton Vale.
If the club eventually decides to stay at Ashton Gate, then matches would continue at the ground and stands rebuilt in a phased programme of work over three years.
Speaking on behalf of the Bristol City FC board, Jon Lansdown told bcfc.co.uk: "Ashton Gate has been the club's spiritual home for more than 100 years and these plans would improve and enhance the facilities ready for the next 100 years.
"The stadium would be designed with supporters in mind; there would be full engagement and consultation to ensure we represent the history and heritage of the club as fans would like.
"Modern stadium facilities are a key pillar for the club, closely aligned with our community engagement and the importance of financial prudence. This redevelopment plan is testament to all of that."
The proposed redevelopment is estimated to cost £40m, with any shortfall being underwritten by Bristol Sport owner Steve Lansdown.
John Lansdown adds: "These plans give us a viable alternative to Ashton Vale. The landowners of Ashton Vale remain very confident that they will be successful at the Inquiry in October, but we need to make sure we have an alternative as, regardless of where it is sited, the Club needs a new stadium. We now have a way forward in that regard."
The redevelopment plans have received the backing of Major of Bristol George Ferguson.
"This is tremendous news and a 'win win' for all concerned. This announcement should be welcomed by City fans and the wider Ashton community alike. Hopefully all can now unite behind this fine new stadium for Bristol, " he said.
"We must now pull out all the stops to work closely with the club to take these plans through planning so that this long-running issue can be resolved once and for all whatever the outcome of the Ashton Vale legal process. The threat of the massive new supermarket and petrol filling station will be lifted and hopefully Ashton Vale residents will be able to drop their legal proceedings when planning is granted.
"City supporters can celebrate that they will be able to stay in their historic home of Ashton Gate, and raise a glass to their future success in a bigger and better Wedlock's!"
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