Industry News

Exeter City to begin multi-million pound stadium renovation project

English League Two football club Exeter City has announced that work on its £3.5m (€4.1m/$4.5m) renovation of St. James Park will finally begin this summer.

After more than two years of negotiations, the contracts to commence work have been signed and developers are looking to begin construction in June.

With the initial planning for the upgrades beginning in 2006, several problems meant the project was terminated in 2011.

It was then rekindled in 2014 with current developer partner, Yelverton Properties Developments, overcoming two substantial legal challenges to finally be able to begin construction work in 2017.

The Old Grandstand, which was built in 1926 and owned by Exeter City Council, would have needed extensive repairs, and possibly faced permanent closure in the future if it had failed an inspection by the Safety Advisory Group, the organisation responsible for stadium safety.

Through the multi-million pound refurbishment, the new stand will have no pillars to obstruct the supporters’ view, along with improved toilets and enhanced refreshment facilities, and new changing rooms will also be constructed under the IP Office stand.

Exeter chairman Julian Tagg said: “This has been a drawn out and complicated process. But none of it would have been possible without the brilliant unwavering support and backing that the club has received from the city council, the dogged determination of club leads David Lee, Mike Phillips and Justin Quick, alongside Andrew Davis of Yelverton, who has moved mountains to breathe life into this project. The club will be ever grateful to them all.”

Exeter City Council has sold the freehold of the area of land behind the Big Bank stand to the developer, which has also acquired adjoining land with student accommodation being built on the site.

The club has surrendered the remaining four years of its lease of the land behind the Big Bank stand to enable the sale of the freehold. The city council will use the proceeds of the land sale to fund the redevelopment. The club’s board has agreed to contribute £265,000 towards the project funds.