Nod for Villa Park part-redevelopment



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Aston Villa stadium update September 2023 Image: Aston Villa

The Premier League club Aston Villa F.C. have been given the go-ahead to finally start the £100m part-redevelopment of their home ground – the Villa Park in Birmingham, England (UK) – with work to renovate the Academy building off Witton Lane expected to kick things off.

‘BirminghamLive’ stated that the revised move to refurbish the former Stumps building – as opposed to demolishing it – was applauded by the Councilors who, recently, approved Villa’s reworked designs of a complete rebuild of the North Stand and the surrounding area in Witton.

The Aston Villa Football Club, commonly referred to as Villa, is a professional football club based in Aston, Birmingham, England (UK). The club competes in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1874, they have played at their home ground, Villa Park, since 1897.

The Villa Park is a football stadium in Aston, Birmingham (UK), with a seating capacity of 42,657. It has been the home of the Premier League side Aston Villa since 1897.

Commented Councilor Lee Marsham (Labour, Nechells [District Ward in Central Birmingham]), “I think utilizing the old Stumps building is a good idea, and I welcome the requirement for a dedicated travel plan for matchdays and concerts which are a nightmare for the residents and the fans.”

Remarked fellow Councilor Rick Payne (Conservative, Kingstanding [Ward in North Birmingham]), “I agree. It’s good they’re utilizing a building that’s already there and not demolishing it and, therefore, they’ll develop that. I’m happy with that.”

‘BirminghamLive’ further stated that the current Academy building is to be transformed into an impressive new fan zone offering that will be known as ‘The Warehouse at Villa Park’. It’s the brainchild of Chris Heck, formerly of the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Philadelphia 76ers (US), who arrived in the Summer to take up the role of the President of Villa’s Business Operations following the departure of the former head honcho Christian Purslow.

Heck has also overseen this season’s new corporate offerings in the Holte End which include The Terrace View and The Lower Grounds, with the latter replacing what was The Holte Suite.

As for the North Stand rebuild, demolition work to take capacity from 42,657 to 50,065 will start immediately after the Foo Fighters (American rock band) concert next Summer (June 27th, 2024). It will mean the Premier League club will play in front of a reduced capacity until the new stand’s completion, which is expected to be ahead of the 2026-2027 seasons.

Elsewhere, the club has announced that its Villa Live concept – a BOXPARK-like venue for supporters and the community – will still go ahead despite speculation that ‘The Warehouse at Villa Park’ was viewed as a more cost-effective alternative.

In short, ‘The Warehouse at Villa Park’ will be a short-term fix for supporters wanting to experience a fan zone pre-and post-match.

The planning statement reads, “The planning strategy for the redevelopment of the Villa Park has been reworked to ensure the North Stand can come forward for development immediately, and new proposals for the refurbishment of the Stumps Academy building and car park fulfill wider functions of Villa Live in the ‘meanwhile’ period. This scenario will allow the future delivery of Villa Live and the completion of the original consented scheme in the future.”

As the Birmingham City Council’s Planning Committee voted in favor of Villa’s redevelopment, the Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street, spoke of his delight at what’s to come – “Good to see plans for the expansion of the Villa Park are progressing, a truly transformational vision for the wider Witton area. Plans to speed up the £100m expansion have been approved while, in the first part of September, I commissioned a study into Witton Station – it’s all coming together.”

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