In late 2015, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) drew up redevelopment plans to invest in excess of £50 million towards the revamp of the East Stand at Twickenham. The plans are part of a genuine attempt to enhance the corporate hospitality offering at Twickenham with Premier League grounds such as Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium setting the standard in the capital.
Mott MacDonald, the engineering and design consultancy involved on the project, who were also engaged in the management of Wembley Stadium, confirmed the redevelopment will double the available space on the east stand, creating an additional 10,750 m² to help improve existing hospitality facilities within the stadium.
In the RFU’s annual report in 2015, a record turnover of more than £200 million was announced for the first time and this redevelopment is considered the best means of reinvesting profits to ensure that the stadium, which is debt-free, generates even more income to maintain the RFU’s position as the wealthiest union in the game.
A source close to the RFU said:
“It is purely about increasing revenue and improving the experience for debenture holders, a lot of whom are about to renew their seats, and making more money from hospitality throughout the year.”
Following completion of the planning and consultation process during 2016, C-Link now understands that Mace – initially brought into the project to act as project manager – is likely to complete the scheme as main contractor.
In addition to the hospitality improvements, the building envelope and cladding to the east stand will also be modernised. The external refurbishment is being designed by KSS Architects who have a fierce reputation for high quality stadium designs having just completed work on the Main Stand at Anfield, Liverpool.
Subject to final approval, construction could start in March 2017 with the project aiming for completion in Autumn 2018. The project will involve numerous Specialist packages and these are likely to be tendered in the coming weeks and months.
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