Construction and Infrastructure
Club sheds light on new football stadium build
While many of us have been hunkered down at home work has continued apace on a new football stadium in Gloucestershire.
Seats are now in at the new Gloucester City AFC Meadown Park ground, adding eye-catching blocks of the club’s colours to the new stands – and spelling out the legend City in the process.
For a club on the road, homeless since the floods of 2007 closed its spiritual home, all obstacles have been bulldozed out of the way and determination is such even a pandemic looks unlikely to keep it off schedule for the 2020/21 season.
It helps when the club’s owner, Eamonn McGurk, happens to have a crack team of ground works experts to prepare the site in the form of his own company, Keyway, and a co-chairman who also owns a construction firm with experience of building football grounds.
“Keyway are busy working on the pitch final dressing… Eamonn won’t thank me for saying this but it’s a real family affair… Patrick McGurk is in charge of the stone and the material, Brian McGurk is sorting the labour, Ryan McGurk is doing the levels and Eamonn has been driving lorries…
“What have I done you ask? Sat in the new stands and pointed of course. It was a hot week. I needed to work my tan!” joked club co-chairman Alex Petheram in his just published blog on the club’s website.
He added: “And wait for it… the floodlights might even be getting delivered this week! I know, maybe my moaning and shouting was not for nothing.
“We’re now not having the cameras built into the lights for filming and heat mapping etc… we’re having a different system installed for player and game analysis, rather than the built-in model within the LED lights.
“I have now completed the Meadow Park ground grading and had the first round approved, I felt a sense of pride being the first person in 13 or so years to complete the grading for the club!
“The grading and safety inspections are now underway, with not only the league but with Gloucester City Council for the ground safety certificate.
“The council team have been great to deal with and Nick Meeks has been completing all the documents back and forth.”
Mr Petheram’s own firm, Soldi Construction, helped build Stadium MK in Milton Keynes and he is the man leading the construction of the new Roberts Limbrick architects-designedMeadow Park stadium.
Diggers entered the ground early this year after the club finally came to an agreement with the Football Stadia Improvement Fund following a meeting between Mr Petheram and director Brian McGurk to discuss the final conditions.
It meant work could start and some would say all leading the push over the next few years should win a medal for sheer determination and their belief in the club and the city where it belongs.
Since the exodus Gloucester City fans have had to travel to Cirencester, Forest Green, Cheltenham and most recently Evesham to watch their team play.
When complete the new ground will have a 3,208 capacity with two 350-seater stands either side of the existing clubhouse and the Tom Webb T-End
There will be a new 3G pitch, expected to take six weeks to lay, but come what may – and the club has seen it all – Gloucester is adamant it will be home for the start of the new season.
The new 3G surface will enable all-year-round training, for the men’s, ladies’ and under 18s teams.