Issue date: 19 July 2012
The University of the West of England welcomes the approval of planning permission by South Gloucestershire Council for building the new Bristol Rovers Football Club (BRFC) stadium at the Frenchay campus.
The stadium, known as the 'UWE Stadium,' will create significant benefits for students, staff and the community. It will also represent a large investment in first class facilities that bring added value to the city and the region.
The 20,000 all-seated stadium will include an extensive club shop, banqueting and hospitality suite, convenience store, gym, jogging track and teaching space.
UWE's rugby and soccer varsity matches will be able to use the stadium and there will be the opportunity for students to assist professional coaches.
Students will also be able to use the Supporters Club Bar and adjacent Banqueting Suite for functions and events, as well as being able to buy discounted match tickets.
Students will be offered the chance to take up casual employment vacancies for match days, as well as part-time jobs in catering and for bar staff. Internships will be offered annually for students into the operation of the Club.
In addition access will be provided to the Media Suite for student courses. Those on relevant degrees will be able to monitor the construction of the stadium as a project as part of their studies and work with the club on marketing, promotion, event management. There are also opportunities for the university to engage in social research and engage with a diverse community of football and rugby supporters.
The stadium will include a small convenience store and BRFC will work with UWE to support public transport access to and from the site. BRFC will work to support UWE charities and alumni in fund raising campaigns. Staff and the local community will be offered match day discounted tickets.
Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said, “I am delighted that we have been able to take this initiative for Bristol and South Gloucestershire a step further to reality.
“At a time when belts are tightening it is good to see this ambition being realised with the investment and growth flowing into the region. The UWE Stadium we hope will also allow the University to reach out to young people and our diverse communities across the region.”
The stadium will benefit from an accessible location, excellent car parking facilities and a complementary transport infrastructure at times of lower usage for the University such as evenings and weekends. The University currently funds some 25 buses with Wessex buses.
In 2008 the University bought 70 acres of land from Hewlett Packard including several buildings, which the University is now using. Following detailed consultation a masterplan for the University was developed and it was identified that an area of land would not be needed to fulfil UWE's future plans. A number of schemes for this land have been considered, including the possibility of an enterprise park with office space, but UWE Governors wanted to see the land used in a way that would enhance the student experience and benefit the community. The current scheme brings benefits to students as well as creating the stadium that BRFC want.
Stadium visuals can be seen at Bristol Rovers