Club, UWE and Sainsbury's agreement and consultation on Memorial Stadium to get underway in the New Year.

Issue date: 13 December 2011

Bristol Rovers Football Club, the University of the West of England and Sainsbury's have reached legal agreement regarding the proposed new stadium at UWE and the redevelopment of the Memorial Stadium.

In June, the Club and UWE Bristol announced their aspiration to build a new stadium on land near the University's Frenchay Campus. Sainsbury's proposal at the Memorial Stadium would help to finance the move while also bringing significant investment to Horfield.

The proposals represent an investment of £60 million in the area.

A 20,000 all-seated stadium including an extensive club shop, banqueting and hospitality suite, convenience store, gym, jogging track and teaching space for the University is proposed at the UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus. Public consultation on these plans has been underway since the summer.

Bristol Rugby Club has been offered the opportunity to move to the new ground at UWE Bristol, which will conform to all FIFA and Rugby Union standards.

Sainsbury's proposal at the Memorial Stadium site includes a store, work space, community facilities, homes and ample parking. A public consultation will begin in the New Year following the busy festive period.

These proposals will be submitted to both Bristol City Council in the case of the Sainsbury's application and South Gloucestershire Council regarding the new stadium, after extensive consultation.

Nick Higgs, Chairman of Bristol Rovers, said, “This agreement is a significant step in securing a sustainable future for the Club. The move to the Frenchay Campus will be fantastic for our supporters as they will be able to take advantage of the excellent transport links, including the A4174, Parkway and Abbey Wood stations and a new car park. Local residents and students will benefit from fantastic new facilities.”

Ben Littman, Regional Development Executive for Sainsbury's, said, “Sainsbury's proposed redevelopment of the Memorial Stadium will bring a number of benefits to the local economy and community, including up to 350 new full and part time jobs, increased competition in weekly supermarket shopping, space for local businesses to grow and facilities for the local community.

“We look forward to meeting with residents to discuss the proposal. This is a fantastic opportunity to invest in Horfield; speaking with the community will help to ensure that we propose the right mix of facilities in a development that is of an appropriate size and scale for the area.”

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.”


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