The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the national governing body for grassroots and elite rugby in England. Its purpose is to encourage rugby, and its values, to flourish across England.
After playing international matches at various grounds, in 1907 the Union Committee (the RFU as it was known then) purchased land at the current Twickenham Stadium site to create a home for Rugby Union in England. Since the first match was played at Twickenham in 1909 the stadium has undergone continuous redevelopment and has hosted some of the most memorable moments in rugby’s history.
The c.31 acre Twickenham Stadium site plus residential properties bordering the venue along Whitton Road are wholly owned by the RFU.
A period of extensive redevelopment of the current stadium commenced in the late 1980’s with the North Stand opening in 1991, followed by the East Stand in 1994 and the West Stand in 1995. The original South Stand was demolished in 2005, rebuilt and completed in 2008 taking the overall stadium capacity to 82,000 alongside extensive conferencing facilities, a Marriott Hotel and Virgin Active Gym.
Leading into the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the stadium again underwent significant upgrades including improved player and West stand facilities, the introduction of LED sports lights, perimeter and mid-tier LED boards, big screens within the bowl and a new energy centre.
In Autumn 2018 a new 11,000sqm East Stand extension was completed offering world-class facilities across six floors including a wide range of premium dining, flexible event spaces and debenture areas.
This historical phased development of the stadium has been completed without an overarching long-term strategy for the site resulting in inefficiencies in design and purpose, and continued pressure from a compliance, maintenance and fan experience perspective.
Following learnings from the East Stand development and the ongoing challenges of an ageing asset, the RFU have identified a need for masterplan, property strategy and business case to shape the future of Twickenham Stadium.
A number of current market dynamics present a timely opportunity for the RFU to consider our long-term options for the game, the asset and stadium. These include the medium-term impact of COVID-19, the government’s proposed planning reform, and large-scale developments in the local area.
In recent months the RFU has conducted a desk top analysis of the development options available for Twickenham Stadium with the property consultants CBRE, this has included a high level feasibility assessment of the most viable options; indicative financial modelling including income valuations, build costs and expected net present values; local market appraisals, planning constraints, development opportunities and risks.
To take the project forward from this initial desk top review, the RFU would now like to appoint a highly experienced Stadium Development Consultant.
With direction from the Project Steering Committee, and the Venue Director, the Stadium Development Consultant will be responsible for leading the creation of a concept masterplan and business case for the future development of Twickenham Stadium by Q2 2022.
The successful individual must have a strong background working as a Project Director or Senior Project Manager leading major stadium or leisure development projects from masterplan inception to practical completion. It is anticipated that the role will initially require two to three days’ work per week during phase one building to a fulltime role as internal approvals are granted and the project gathers momentum in Q4 2021.
Phase One, June to September 2021, scope including but not limited to:
- Lead the internal RFU assessment of the current stadium condition, utilisation, constraints, commercial and operational challenges and opportunities.
- Review internal and external assessments of the existing structure, plant, equipment, technology and assets to confirm the residual life expectancy and 25-year cost model.
- Develop a clear understanding of the key characteristics and requirements of the stadium including physical context, current occupation levels, operational needs (i.e. transport infrastructure, parking, site access, spectator flows, logistics, office use etc.) and local impacts.
- Establish the minimum requirements for match day and non-match day activity to protect existing revenue streams.
- Benchmark comparable stadia locally and nationally.
- Prepare and conduct vision and strategy workshops with key internal stakeholders including but not limited to the project team, RFU Board, Executive and Council.
- Develop the masterplan project playbook outlining the project governance, resourcing structures and responsibilities, policies and procedures, assurance and approval plans, project controls, communication and relationship ownership, stakeholder management, consultancy framework and project timelines.
- Work with internal stakeholders, joint venture partners and external consultants (as required) to evolve the Twickenham Stadium commercial product plan to maximise revenue opportunities across all general admission, hospitality, box and debenture areas.
- Tender, negotiate, contract and oversee a consultancy team to support with the master plan, business case and strategy project ensuring a competitive, cost effective procurement process.
Phase two, October 2021 onwards:
- Create a comprehensive options analysis for the likely development options, presented to the RFU Executive and Board for approval.
- Conduct a detailed feasibility study, cost model and business case with ROI of developing the current site vs incremental improvements of the stadium over a 25 year + term including value creation potential, revenue, planning, financing and wider considerations.
- Lead the development of a spatial block plan and appraisal of the proposed development strategy with recommendations presented internally for approval.
- Finalise the development strategy and outline plan, leading to an illustrative masterplan, concept design and approved business case by Q2 2022.
- Subject to approval of the development strategy, commence external stakeholder engagement and public consultation as required.
- Lead the detailed design, planning and construction projects for the initial development phases.