Bristol Rovers abandons plans for new stadium

English League One football team Bristol Rovers has ditched plans to build a new stadium at the University of West of England (UWE).

Back in 2011, the club agreed a deal with the UWE and supermarket chain Sainsbury’s to build a 21,000-seater venue at the Stoke Gifford site on the outskirts of Bristol.

The wider plans also included Sainsbury’s building a new store and developing the team’s current Memorial Stadium home in Horfield.

However, as reported by the BBC, Sainsbury’s opted to pull out of the project after a number of delays and petitions by campaigners opposed to the plans. A High Court battle followed, but Rovers lost the case.

In a statement on the club’s official website, Rovers has said that it was unable to reach a final agreement for the project and will now pursue other options.

“Dwane Sports is disappointed to announce that its discussions with UWE regarding a potential stadium development for the club have been brought to a close as the parties were unable to agree acceptable terms,” the statement said.

“We will now immediately turn our attention to exploring all other opportunities for a new stadium or for a substantive redevelopment of the Memorial Stadium, whilst at the same time continuing to develop the new Colony training ground.”

However, a UWE spokeswoman has said the university “remained committed” to the new stadium, adding that it would bring “great benefits” to the institution, as well as the local community and economy.

According to the BBC, the spokeswomen said: “Although we have been disappointed by the slow pace of negotiations, we are still willing and open to continue negotiations.

“This has been an initiative the university has been working on for over eight years and we still believe is deliverable.

“Planning consent does not expire until January 2018 and the door remains open for a deal to be struck, and the university will continue to work on this project.”

Image: Nick