Stadium expansion plans announced

Bristol Rovers Chairman Geoff Dunford has today announced plans to build a 5,500 seat stand in place of the Blackthorn End and Clubhouse.

It is hoped that this will be the first phase in the conversion of the Memorial Ground into a 17,000 seat arena.

The first phase of the project is largely being funded by a £1.96m grant from the Football Foundation.

The overall capacity of the Stadium will be increased by 1,700 and the proposals will vastly increase the amount of seats avaliable - currently only 2,400.

The new stand will include bars and food vendors as well as the possibility of a creche and fitness studio.

The planning application for this phase of development is now with Bristol City Council.

The Chairman also outlined that phases two and three of the re-development would involve the South Stand and Centenary Stand respectively although was unable to put a clear timescale on developments.

It must however be noted that if the Memorial Stadium was to become an all seat arena, work would have to take place on the family enclosure, and West Stand to convert terrace to seats.

Mr Dunford also did not rule out the possibility of moving to a new site in the future, should the Memorial Ground become too small.