Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 16:05 UK

Delay over Rovers stadium plans

Plan of new stadium for Bristol Rovers FC
Bristol Rugby Club also plays home matches at the Memorial Stadium

Plans to redevelop Bristol Rovers' Memorial Stadium into an 18,500 all-seater venue are to be delayed by a year, the parent company has announced.

The club had planned to part-fund the redevelopment by incorporating student accommodation into the scheme.

But the club's preferred company to build the flats pulled out in May.

At a board meeting on Tuesday the directors unanimously agreed to delay the scheme for 12 months "to give credibility to the redevelopment".

The Opal Property Group, the club's preferred student provider, blamed the "current credit crunch" on its decision to withdraw.

Another party

Chairman of Opal, Stuart Wall, said: "We are extremely sorry we have had to withdraw from this project at such a late stage."

John Newland, of project managers Gleeds, said: "The news of the student accommodation provider pulling out at this late stage is very disappointing."

Bristol Rovers vice-chairman Nick Higgs added: "We acted swiftly and opened discussions with another student accommodation provider, but unfortunately agreement could not be reached over the weekend.

"The club has decided therefore to go back to the open market, which will result in a delay of 12 months."

Bristol Rugby has also confirmed that the club will now play its home fixtures in 2008-9 at the Memorial Stadium.

The club had been set to play home fixtures at Rodney Parade, the home of Newport Gwent Dragons, during the re-development starting with the 2008-9 season.

"We have been in discussions with Bristol Rovers over the past couple of days and, now they have clarified the situation, we have decided to play our fixtures at the Memorial Stadium this season," said chief executive David White.




SEE ALSO
Memorial Stadium plans hit hurdle
30 May 08 |  Bristol/Somerset
Rovers get go-ahead for stadium
03 Apr 08 |  Bristol Rovers
Revised stadium is given approval
03 Apr 08 |  Bristol/Somerset
Rovers to share with Cheltenham
28 Apr 08 |  Bristol/Somerset

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