Bath Rugby plans for a new stadium

Bath Rugby has launched a plan to develop a new ‘Stadium for Bath.’

The club, which leases the ground from the Recreation Ground Trust, wants to increase capacity and revamp the west stand and north terrace.

Tarquin McDonald, chief executive of Bath Rugby said: “For most of this year, we have been listening to the people that live and work here in Bath. This is a complex project, of huge importance to all involved and we will get it right if we all work together.

“We now believe there is an opportunity to create something exceptional in the heart of this incredible city. Something which reflects its ambition and rich heritage and is a source of pride and inspiration for everyone.

“At the core of this sits a new stadium at the Rec and a new home for Bath Rugby. However, it is clear that this project is not just about rugby. There is a unique opportunity to create a destination which revitalises the riverside, which benefits and enhances the community and encourages healthier living through accessible and inclusive sporting participation.

“We believe that with the right design team we can find a solution which both celebrates and complements Bath, and which ensures that Bath Rugby continues to be a source of pride and inspiration for the city.”

This announcement closes the door on the previous design proposals, which were presented nearly four years ago. Given the passage of time and the unique location of the Rec, it is only right to look again at the design.”

Because of the complex rules of the Recreation Ground Trust lease, the ground has to be used for more than just rugby.

The club has also faced opposition because the site is next to Bath’s Grade-I listed Pulteney Bridge.

A court ruling in December 2016 decided the Recreation Ground Trust could lease the club additional land for redevelopment.

The club has been consulting since early this year on the project, and confirmed it would submit a new planning application to Bath and North East Somerset Council following a series of public feedback events.

The Recreation Ground has been the home of Bath Rugby Club since 1894.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.