‘Pompey’s’ home venue revamp gets green light


Portsmouth Fratton Park August 2020 Image: Portsmouth FC

Plans for the first phase of the reconfiguration of Portsmouth FC’s home groundFratton Park in UK – to increase capacity at the ground have been greenlighted by the local council.

Portsmouth FC is an English professional association football club in Portsmouth, Hampshire, in UK, which currently plays in the English Football League (EFL) League One, the third tier of English football. The club was founded on April 5, 1898, and their residence is Fratton Park in Milton, Portsmouth.

This concerns the extensive redevelopment of the Milton End that will not only enhance the capacity of the stand, but also bring a sea change in its amenities.

The proposed new stand – which is architecturally in concert with the iconic elements of Pompey’s stadium – will provide enhanced access and futuristic facilities for home and away disabled fans, as well as flexibility in regards to how away supporters will be accommodated.

The club worked with renowned local firm HGP Architects – who previously designed the Spinnaker Tower – on the plans.

The Emirates Spinnaker Tower is a 170-meter landmark observation tower in Portsmouth, England.

During the past few seasons, essential upgrades and health and safety works have been undertaken on both the North and South Stands, while there have been substantial repurposing work to the head office and the erection of a new club shop/ticket office.

However, the revamp of the Milton End – which, as previously advised, comes with the rider as regards successful ongoing discussions with key stakeholders in the area – would signal the first major change to Fratton Park since the all-seater Fratton End was opened in 1997.

Commented Pompey boss Mark Catlin, “Having planning permission for Phase One of our stadium plan is yet another milestone as part of our long-term vision for Fratton Park. We remain optimistic in that, despite the effects of COVID-19, local and national stakeholders continue to work with us behind the scenes in helping to turn our vision into reality – which as we have consistently stated, will be the key that unlocks not only this project, but the general Fratton Park masterplan.”

“I would like to thank our Board of Directors, club executives, HGP Architects, the Tony Goodall Fans’ Conference and Heritage & Advisory Board for their input and advice in arriving at this point. Having planning permission for Phase One of our stadium plan is yet another milestone as part of our long-term vision for Fratton Park,” Catlin added.

HGP Architects added, “HGP is excited to have full support from the public and Portsmouth City Council for the renovation proposal of Fratton Park’s Milton End. The redesign takes reference from the existing unique structures of the historic ground, with a contemporary perspective that updates the stand to conform to current guidance.”

The statement further read, “The fantastic collaborative efforts of all involved will have long-term benefits to the club and supporters by providing enhanced spectator satisfaction with greater viewing angles to the pitch, additional concourse hospitality, ease of access throughout the stand and additional facilities.”

Inspired by the Frogmore Road entrance, the reconfigured turnstiles will reduce queuing times, alleviating the crowding along Specks Lane and form visually cohesive gateways throughout the stadium. A key aspect to the design is the extension of the roof that will encompass the boilermakers’ hump connecting the Milton End to the North stand. This will allow for additional seating, increasing the stand capacity to 3,200, and provide a state-of-the-art security lodge overlooking the ground,” the statement added.

HGP Architects view this refurbishment work to be a huge positive, longstanding contribution to Fratton Park, providing facilities in sync with Portsmouth Football Club’s aspirations and the supporters’ needs, future-proofing the stand.

A rehabilitation of the Milton End would achieve the following key points:

  • Two covered DDA areas, allowing home and away disabled supporters to sit with their respective fans, as well as offering lift access and elevated viewing positions;
  • Increase in the present permitted capacity to 3,200 supporters;
  • The ability to segregate in 25 percent blocks, enabling a potential minimum extra 800 home fans (should demand dictate) to be permanently lodged in this area for league games; and
  • A completely new concourse area, cantilevered to extend beyond the back of the stand.

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