English League One football club Cambridge United has appointed Holmes Miller as architects of the proposed redevelopment of Abbey Stadium, as well as naming Wrenbridge Sport as project managers.
The latest news comes after United in October reached an agreement with its fans that paved the way for the redevelopment of Abbey Stadium, its home since 1932. The club pledged to spend £1.5m (€1.75m/$1.89m) on a new Supporters Club building, allowing the existing one to be demolished.
In return, the club is due to be gifted an area of land owned by the Supporters Club to allow redevelopment work to go ahead. In yesterday’s (Monday’s) announcement, United CEO Alex Tunbridge said the Supporters Club pact is yet to be fully signed off, adding United hopes to be in a position to publish initial plans for Abbey Stadium in early New Year.
Holmes Miller will be supported with the redevelopment of Abbey Stadium by Wrenbridge Sport, which will see Richard Arnold appointed as project manager. A United season ticket holder, Arnold has most recently project-managed the club’s new training ground development.
Tunbridge said: “This is an important step in the next phase of our club wide strategy to improve the infrastructure at Cambridge United. First was about making improvements to the existing Abbey Stadium to improve the matchday experience.
“We have done much in recent months and will continue to make changes where we can. The second stage was to modernise the training ground facilities and it is great news that the new building is now being used by the playing side of the club. The third is now focusing on the redevelopment of the Abbey Stadium site.
“After a detailed selection process we are pleased to have appointed Holmes Miller as architects for the development of the Abbey Stadium. They have a proven track record of building and redeveloping stadia in the UK, and we believe the experiences from their most recent projects in Belfast and York make them an exciting fit for our project.
“The appointment of Richard Arnold as project manager also provides continuation from a building project perspective. Richard has done an outstanding job with the new training ground facilities and he and Wrenbridge Sport are the natural fit to continue supporting us.
“With the players having moved into the new training ground last week our attention, time and effort is now focussing on this project. To become a sustainable League One club, we need to increase our revenues and to do that we need to increase our capacity and improve our facilities for both matchdays and non-matchdays.
“We will have many hurdles to overcome to make the intended plans into a reality and we believe both Holmes Miller and Wrenbridge Sport will greatly aid us in redeveloping the Abbey Stadium into a fantastic community focused stadium.”
United completed the purchase of the stadium in September 2022. The ground was previously owned by property developer, manager and investor Grosvenor for almost 12 years.