National League football club Wrexham has been granted permission to construct a new 5,500-capacity stand at the Racecourse Ground.
A meeting of Wrexham County Borough Council’s planning committee yesterday (Monday) granted approval of the club’s application for the new stand, which will replace the Kop end.
Wrexham said that demolition of the Kop will now commence “as soon as practically possible”. An application for funding from the Levelling Up Fund is expected to be determined on November 30, and the club is making a significant contribution towards the new stand after already purchasing the freehold of the Racecourse Ground.
The new stand, which will revert the Racecourse Ground to a four-sided stadium, has been a priority for co-chairmen Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds since they became owners of the club in February 2021.
Of the 5,500 capacity, 5,000 will be allocated for general admission fans, with rail seating to form part of the design. Wrexham said this will allow the club to meet the all-seater criteria of UEFA’s Category 4 status while allowing supporters to stand for club matches.
The additional 500 seats will be for corporate guests and will provide direct access from the hospitality lounge. Accessible seating will be available at elevated positions and the stand has been designed to recognise Wrexham’s link with the coal mining industry.
McElhenney and Reynolds said: “With planning committee approval now secured, we can move forward with the Kop development, starting with the demolition of the existing structure.
“The derelict state of the Kop has long been an eyesore and we hope that by the start of the 2024-25 season, it will be brought back into use, with another 5,500 fans able to watch games live, as well as providing a superb backdrop for those watching on TV. We would like to thank the planning committee for the positive decision they have made and all those who have been involved with our application.”
In February, one year on from the takeover of the club, Wrexham reached a heads of terms agreement to purchase the freehold of the Racecourse Ground. AFL Architects was last year appointed by Wrexham to develop the stadium, which first opened in 1864 for football.
The capacity of the Racecourse Ground will increase to 15,500 with the addition of the new stand.