Industry News

Twickenham redevelopment facing cost increases

The redevelopment project at Twickenham, the home of the England rugby union team, is now reportedly £10m (€11.4m/$13.9m) over budget due to the additional expense of meeting new safety and security guidelines.

UK newspaper the Daily Mail said the proposed spend on the redevelopment of the East Stand at the London stadium has now increased from £55m to £65.5m.

The new-look stand is set to debut for England’s autumn internationals this year, but the Mail said the cost could yet increase further due to the need to make the structure capable of withstanding a terrorist bomb attack, along with extra fire safety requirements for the building’s cladding in the wake of last year’s Grenfell disaster in the capital.

The Mail also said that a report from the British Safety Council highlighted “some longstanding procedural and cultural issues that fall short of world-class standards.”

The newspaper added that councillors were informed that work has commenced to rectify the issues with Twickenham Health & Safety and the East Stand Development now a “major priority” for the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The governing body is said to have engaged consultants Ernst & Young to review the whole project.

An RFU spokeswoman said: “We keep health and safety under constant review and if there are areas we can improve, we will. It is not unusual for costs for construction projects to rise once the work is under way – the East Stand project is still on track and within the overall budget.”

Work on expanding the East Stand will bring all England Rugby corporate hospitality under one roof. The RFU has created England Rugby Hospitality as the exclusive provider of official match day hospitality at Twickenham and in December, the body said it is on track to sell out all 2,230 East Stand enhanced debentures.

Image: Diliff