Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 09:43 UK

Owls unveil Hillsborough revamp

Computer-generated image of stadium

Hillsborough Stadium is to undergo a £22m redevelopment, Sheffield Wednesday have announced.

The revamp includes increasing the ground's capacity from 39,000 to 45,000, and a new roof structure for the Kop and West stands.

The club said it hoped Hillsborough would be chosen by the FA as a potential host venue for England's World Cup 2018 bid.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

Sheffield Wednesday said improving the "matchday experience" for its supporters was at the heart of the redevelopment.

Other plans include an extension of the North Stand to create an education facility and 17 new executive boxes.

An outline planning application has been presented to Sheffield City Council.

'Right approach'

Funding for the redevelopment is expected to come from club revenue and government grants.

A Sheffield Wednesday spokesman said the club believed the overhaul would make Hillsborough an "impressive venue" and strengthen Sheffield's case to be chosen as a candidate host city for England's World Cup 2018 bid.

Club chairman Lee Strafford said: "All fans would agree that Hillsborough is in need of investment and we are happy to present plans that will improve the fan experience, boost the club's revenue capabilities and also strengthen our ties with the local community.

"I want to see us hosting schools, adult learning groups and other community organisations all year round.

"I believe this is the right approach to achieving long-term success, both on and off the field."

Strafford added: "We've got to make the investment to bring the stadium up to 21st century spec that will underpin how we invest in the football budget in the mid to long term.

"We're going to balance the spend on the pitch versus developing the facilities so it can all go on the pitch in the long run."

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19 Aug 09 |  Merseyside

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