Bristol Rovers get nod for South Stand improvements


Bristol Rovers will expand South Stand Image: Bristol Rovers

EFL League One club Bristol Rovers have been given the green light to undertake improvements to the South Stand at their Memorial Stadium.

The club said it has been given a resolution to grant planning permission by Bristol City Council for the South Stand development project.

The club said in a statement, “The permission comes with conditions but the decision marks a significant step forward in our commitment to improving the safety and matchday experience for our fans and those travelling to the ground as an away fan.

“The South Stand will modernise the stadium, and with your help continue to add to that infamous atmosphere that the Memorial Stadium is known for. As a result, it benefits those on the pitch and in the stands.”

The club also said it acknowledged the views that engagement with the residents should have started earlier and has committed to this as a regular event moving forward.

Earlier this year, Bristol Rovers said they had been exploring options to improve the current offering in the South part of the ground, to increase the capacity and number of seats available to purchase, whilst also improving the facilities for all supporters, including those with additional needs.

Rovers had hoped to open the new stand in time for the start of the 2023/24 season but were forced to delay the improvements because of reasons outside of their control.

The plans will see the current South and Southwest stand removed and replaced with one solid-roof structure that incorporates the whole space, offering a full wraparound, complete with a new corner section.

Club President Wael Al Qadi said, “During my time at the club, we have constantly been looking for ways in which we can improve The Mem and provide a better experience for supporters. It has been a long process to get to this date, but we are glad that we are now at a stage where we can share with you the plans for the new season.

“The new stand allows us to add more seating to the current stadium plan and increase the capacity which, following the success of the past two seasons, is something that will enable us to welcome more supporters to attend games.

“The ability to add more accessible seating options for supporters also aligns with the club’s desire to make our stadium more accessible to all fans where possible.

“For the first time, we can create a concourse area, underneath the stand, offering improved facilities for our home fans, as well as those visiting the stadium.

“The changes will also see the removal of the current Brunel South Stand and MKJ Southwest Stand. The removal of these two tented stands to be replaced by a solid roof structure is something that I am sure will be welcomed by all supporters.

“Given the scale of the development, timelines are tight and we will be doing all we can to ensure that the new structure is in place as quickly as possible, with minimum disruption. That said, as with any development of this nature, there is always the chance of delays that are out of our control, but we have done all we can to look to mitigate this risk.”

For the new development the club will be working with its partners Arena, who are industry experts in projects such as this.

Brendan Williams, from Arena, said, “This is an incredibly exciting project and one which we’re delighted to be helping deliver.

“The Memorial Stadium has a rich footballing history and this project will increase capacity and accessibility, while maintaining the venue’s identity – and ensures fans have the very best view of the action.”

Details will follow in due course on the availability of Season Tickets in this area. Those who have purchased seats in the current MKJ Group Family Stand will be given priority to ensure that they can have like-for-like seats within the new stand. Information on this and opportunities to purchase will be shared in the near future.

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