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Design & Development

Wrexham’s stadium development to miss targeted completion

Featured image credit: AFL Architects

League Two football club Wrexham AFC has conceded that the new Kop stand at its STōK Cae Ras | STōK Racecourse stadium will not be open for the start of the 2024-25 season, as originally planned.

The Welsh club announced today (Wednesday) that there is no date for starting on site, adding that several matters need to be resolved before this can be confirmed. With a projected build period of 12 months from commencement on site this means that the original goal of having the new Kop in place for the 2024-25 campaign will now not happen.

Wrexham said: “To enable a contract to build the Kop to be signed, the grant funding agreement from Wrexham County Borough Council needs to be finalised and the club satisfied that the conditions attached to the funding offer can be fulfilled. It is hoped that these negotiations will be completed before the end of October 2023.”

There are several conditions that the club needs to be satisfied can be fulfilled which include, but are not limited to the collapse of the existing lease structure at the STōK Cae Ras. The club said “good progress” has been made with the Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST) in this regard, with an update on the position due to be announced soon by the Trust.

Wrexham is also awaiting confirmation of the requirements to meet UEFA’s Category 4 stadium status, and that these can be achieved. A report is due from European football’s governing body after a stadium visit.

From a practical perspective, to allow a contractor to commence, other works also need to be completed, with the club stating further updates will be issued when progress is made.

Wrexham in January maintained that it was progressing with plans to redevelop the Kop end at the Racecourse Ground after missing out on Levelling Up funding, with construction company Morgan Sindall appointed as the preferred contractor for the project.

The Wrexham Gateway project, which includes redevelopment of the Racecourse Ground, was not among the 11 Welsh projects to receive Government funding earlier in the month. The grant application to the Levelling Up Fund was for financial support towards the proposed Kop development, with Wrexham hoping to transform the Racecourse Ground, renamed in May through a sponsorship deal, into a stadium capable of hosting senior Wales internationals.

In November, the club was granted permission to construct a new 5,500-capacity stand at the stadium to replace the Kop end. The old stand has already been demolished. 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.