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Bristol Rovers owner picks out site for new stadium

Bristol Rovers president Wael Al-Qadi has revealed that the League One football club is putting together a planning application for a new stadium that would be based at the city’s Fruit Market site.

In 2017, Rovers ditched plans to build a new stadium at the University of West of England (UWE) and last year Al-Qadi said the club was assessing various options to resolve its long-held goal of developing a new ground.

Back in 2011, the club had agreed a deal with the UWE and Sainsbury’s to build a 21,000-seat venue on the outskirts of the Bristol but the supermarket chain opted to pull out of the project following a number of delays and petitions by campaigners opposed to the plans. Ultimately, a financial agreement was not reached and Rovers opted to pull the plug on the plans.

The club has played at the 12,300-seat Memorial Stadium (pictured) since 1996.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, Al-Qadi said: “We have identified one site, along with others, we are very interested in. One of the sites is the Fruit Market – we are very interested in that site.

“We have already started the work that goes in to planning permission. As you know it’s a very long process and there’s a lot of technical work that has to be done to get approval.”

The Fruit Market site is owned by various parties and shareholders, including Total Produce.

Image: Chris clements