Bath Rugby this afternoon unveiled plans for a temporary scheme at the Rec, which aims to improve facilities and increase capacity in time for the start of the 2016 / 2017 season. The plans are being shared at a public exhibition at the Guildhall today, before moving to the Rec itself tomorrow.
The Club has not been able to progress the permanent solution for the redevelopment of the Rec, as consulted on in 2013, whilst the Rec Ground Trust which owns the site has sought to clarify its rights with regard to the operation of the site. As an interim solution, the Club will be applying for a four-year temporary consent to continue with the existing configurations of the North and South Stands as well as the Seasonal East Stand. In addition, Bath Rugby also seek to improve the facilities and seating of the West Stand, which would bring the overall capacity of the Rec from 13,500 to approximately 14,500.
Built in 1954, the current West Stand is in extremely poor condition and is reaching the end of its design life. The enhancement of the West Stand would involve the retention of the back wall which faces the riverside. The existing seats would be replaced with a temporary structure which would provide a better experience for supporters - including improved sight lines, more leg room, and enhanced toilet facilities.
Tarquin McDonald, Managing Director, Bath Rugby said: “Bath Rugby remain committed to finding a long-term permanent solution at the Rec, providing world-class facilities in the centre of Bath, which can be used by all. The Club is bringing all the temporary applications at The Rec together, including the proposed new temporary West Stand, to provide clarity for the next four years. This will give us the time to work with all the key stakeholders within the City – including our near neighbours - to find the best solution for the City."
"In the meantime we wish to provide our supporters with the best possible experience and we feel the proposals including the new temporary West Stand will provide much needed improvements to the facilities. In addition, the new temporary stand would also provide increased capacity so more people can enjoy watching rugby at the Rec, together with the significant knock-on benefit for the local economy of additional spend in local restaurants, shops and hotels.”
The Public Exhibition is open today at The Guildhall (Brunswick Room – 1pm -7pm) and tomorrow (The Recreation Ground - 12 noon–4pm).
Those who are unable to attend can click here for more information on the plans, as well as being able to offer feedback.