English Premiership rugby union club the Newcastle Falcons is planning on expanding its stadium, Kingston Park, by a further 1,500 seats.
The Evening Chronicle newspaper said the club has submitted plans to Newcastle City Council, with a multi-million-pound investment in facilities being lined up to ensure the Falcons remain competitive.
The new seats would be added to Kingston Park’s north stand and would result in the stadium’s overall capacity increasing to 11,730. A new hospitality suite would also form part of the plans, along with a dedicated players’ facility, all-weather pitch, new floodlights and community changing facilities.
The Chronicle reports that a new traffic management strategy will be introduced to formalise all on-site parking, while a landscape scheme that will result in proposed housing developments being taken to the east and west has also been suggested.
A planning statement reported by the Chronicle read: “Attendance at Newcastle Falcons games has been steadily increasing and the proposed development will ensure the stadium facilities will accommodate supporters.
“A first-class players’ suite will provide the club with facilities needed to attract new players and challenge in all competitions. The Newcastle Falcons will be hosting the Rugby Continental Shield final in 2019 as part of a weekend of rugby in the city which includes the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals at St James’ Park.
“Newcastle Falcons currently has the smallest rugby ground capacity out of the 12 rugby clubs in the Aviva Premiership, when taking into account Saracens’ approved expansion plans.
“The stadium’s North Stand has no roof, leaving fans exposed to the weather, whilst the existing training pitches to the north and west of the stadium suffer from poor drainage which restricts their usage. Furthermore, the northern pitch is restricted in width and is not a full-size pitch.
“Overall, the proposals will support this regionally important rugby facility and puts the Falcons at the heart of the existing and new residential community.”
IMAGE: Ryder Architecture