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Team appointed for Yarrow Stadium recovery project

Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) has unveiled the team that will undertake the main part of the redevelopment of the earthquake-damaged Yarrow Stadium.

A consortium led by GHD Woodhead Creative Spaces and New Plymouth-based firm Boon has been awarded the contract to design the new East Stand for the New Zealand stadium.

The architects will be supported by Beca (structural and civil engineering), Aurecon (mechanical and electrical services) and Holmes (fire services). TRC, which owns the stadium, said additional service contracts will be confirmed shortly.

Taranaki Regional Council Chairperson, David MacLeod, said the design and build of the new stand is the largest single component of the project’s total NZ$50m (£25m/€29.3m/$34.6m) budget. He continued: “Getting the design of the new stand underway is a big milestone and having a strong team on board is critical to the successful delivery of the project.

“Between them, these organisations have worked on projects like North Harbour Stadium, Mt Smart Stadium and Rotorua Energy Centre. We’re excited to have this wealth of experience and expertise working on the design of our new stand.”

Yarrow Stadium is also to be fitted with new LED floodlighting and a hybrid turf pitch as part of the revamp, it was announced last month. Final plans were unveiled for the New Plymouth venue back in November. The 25,000-seat stadium was a home of Super Rugby’s Chiefs until the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake caused significant damage and left two stands unsafe to use.

The remodelling will ensure Yarrow Stadium is safe and suits a broader range of regional and community sports while continuing to be the premier regional venue for top-level sport in the Taranaki region.

The main East Stand of Yarrow Stadium, which closed in 2018, is being demolished and replaced, with the West Stand to be repaired. Consultation with stakeholders is underway now to gather feedback on how the facility will be used and what features are needed, MacLeod said yesterday (Tuesday).

He added: “The design will make the new East Stand more usable, more often, by more people because flexible use spaces are being built into the new stand.”

Yarrow Stadium will re-open in 2022 with the repaired West Stand, but the new stand will not be available until late 2024, with construction scheduled to begin towards the end of March 2022. The Council has budgeted NZ$50m for the refurbishment of Yarrow Stadium – NZ$20m of which is funded from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

MacLeod said: “We acknowledge that constraints in the building sector may put pressure on that budget, but it is our intention to stay within the NZ$50m approved and agreed by ratepayers.

“The project has been designed to focus on the core components of the stands, field and lighting, with enhancements to surrounding areas to be considered once we have greater certainty on final costs.”

Image: Taranaki Regional Council