Forest Green Rovers revisited Eco Park plans



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Forest Green Rovers stadium update January 2022 Image: Forest Green Rovers

Ecotricity – the world’s first Green energy company, has revealed revisited plans for its long-awaited Eco Park development – the new home for the EFL League Two team Forest Green Rovers, next to Junction 13 of the M5 motorway in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.

The ‘Forest Green Rovers’ stated that the revisited plan includes the all-wooden 5,000-seat stadium for Forest Green Rovers – approved in December 2019 – and the use of land on both sides of the A419 to include a Green tech business park. The site will feature 38k sq meters of office space and 18k sq meters of industrial space, designed to host companies working in the zero carbon economy.

The Forest Green Rovers Football Club is a professional football club based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England (UK). The team competes in EFL League Two and have played their home games at The New Lawn since 2006, when they moved from their original home at The Lawn Ground.

The 5,147-capacity New Lawn Stadium, also known as The Fully Charged New Lawn for sponsorship reasons, is a football stadium in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire (UK). It has been the home stadium of League Two club Forest Green Rovers since 2006.

The ‘Forest Green Rovers’ further stated that the development will contribute around £150m to the local economy annually, while generating £2m per year in business rates for the Stroud District Council. The full plan, submitted on January 27th, aligns with proposed changes to the local plan, and the District Council and Gfirst LEP’s intention to bring Green industries and knowledge-intensive sectors into the M5 growth zone.

GFirst LEP is a local enterprise partnership – one of 38 in England – and is responsible for Gloucestershire’s Strategic Economic Plan. A partnership of business and local Government, LEPs were created in 2011.

Ecotricity will also build a comprehensive new training facility at Eco Park for Forest Green Rovers – recognized by both the United Nations and FIFA as the world’s greenest football club. This would bring training back into the district for the first time since the club went professional -because of a lack of facilities in the area.

The new training complex will bring together the youth, academy, women’s and first team together, and has already secured the backing of Forest Green Rover’s partner, Candriam – the global leader in sustainable investing.

Subject to planning approval, Ecotricity hopes to begin work on initial training facilities this Spring.

The plans will improve the habitat on site – with a biodiversity net gain of almost 12 percent from its existing Green fields – enclosing the stadium in parkland setting with more than two km of new hedgerows, several thousand new trees and wetland and the return of the canal. The site is also expected to self-generate over 80 percent of all energy used.

Ahead of forthcoming construction work, an extensive archaeological survey and dig has begun on the site. Expected to take three to four months – the dig will look for Roman artefacts.

Commented Dale Vince, Founder of Ecotricity and Chairman of Forest Green Rovers, “It’s taken a long time to get here, but Eco Park and the local plan are now aligned and we are measurably closer to being able to start work. With Eco Park we’ll be able to properly push the boundaries of sustainable development. The beating Green heart of this project will be the lowest carbon football stadium in the world ever, at least since the Roman’s invented concrete – which is fitting given we’ve got Roman remains on the site.”

Added Vince, “We’re hoping to get to work on training facilities in the next couple of months – and ultimately create a fantastic facility for all elements of the Forest Green Rovers football family to train together.”

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