We regret to announce that circumstances beyond our control mean that we are unable to comply with the planning condition which requires the East Stand at the Rec to be removed for a small number of weeks this summer.
The condition states that in the three weeks following the final fixture at the Rec, the stands must be removed, and that the reconstruction must not commence more than four weeks before the first home game of the new season.
Arena Group, the company that owns and leases the east stand structure to the club, has issued an official notice to Bath Rugby informing of an impending breach of contract. The notice confirms that it has been impossible to plan, schedule, recruit, and train staff throughout the pandemic causing an extreme shortage of specialist construction teams. As a result, Arena Group’s operational capacity is severely limited meaning the east stand can no longer be dismantled and re-erected safely this summer.
Earlier this year, the club shared a number of concerns with B&NES as part of a detailed application (since withdrawn) requiring the east stand to remain in situ throughout the summer months. One concern noted the availability of skilled contractors following a year of crisis for the construction industry. Unfortunately, these concerns have now become a very real reality through circumstances beyond the club’s and Arena Group’s control.
In their communication with the club, Arena Group went on to state that the health and safety of their staff and clients is paramount. Furthermore, due to the complex nature of the east stand structure, Arena Group are unable to subcontract this work, always requiring full quotas of experienced crews and approved staff to guarantee a safe working environment.
Alex Cohen, Bath Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, commented: “The club has worked with Arena Group to exhaust all possible avenues to facilitate the dismantling of the east stand this summer however, the company has confirmed that due to the unique circumstances of the pandemic they are unable to meet their commitment in terms of the dismantle and re-rig of the east stand at the Rec during the pending summer months.
“We value our long-standing relationship with Arena Group and understand their position, however, we cannot hide our disappointment of the impact this now has on our club. We would like to offer our sincere apologies to all concerned.”