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Gloucestershire Business News

Construction can now start on Gloucester City Football Club's new stadium

Work can now begin on building Gloucester City Football Club's new home stadium - more than 12 years after the club were forced to leave it due to flooding.

After years of frustration, delay and red tape, this week the Club say they were finally given "the green light to start construction."

The club have been waiting on formal approval for their bid to part-fund the rebuild from the Football Stadia Infrastructure Fund before ordering the steel and materials.

And following a meeting between co-chairman Alex Petheram, director Brian McGurk and Chris Davies from the FSIF this week, the final conditions were agreed and legal documents exchanged.

In a joint statement released to the club's website, Mr Petheram and co-chair Eamonn McGurk said the news was a significant step forward on the long journey home.

"It's been a long and challenging road but we're delighted to reach this milestone and finally place some significant orders with suppliers and give contractual commitments to others," the statement said.

"The next step is to conclude the pre-start safety reviews with the National League and FA. It's exciting times for the club and the City."

Mr Petheram's company Soldi construction - who worked on the build of Stadium MK in Milton Keynes - will lead the construction of the new stadium which has been designed by Roberts Limbrick architects.

The existing changing room and office building, which is practically the only surviving piece of the old stadium will be retained and have two 350 seat stands build either side.

Steel for the infrastructure of that stand and for the new home 'T-End' and for the terracing opposite has also been ordered from Dorchester-based Snashall Steel.

Soldi are hoping to take over the site with Mr Petheram hopeful that construction will start 'this side of Christmas.'

The ground on which the new stadium will sit has already been raised so as to prevent a repeat of the devastating 2007 floods that caused the ground to be uninhabitable and uninsurable.

Since then the club have been forced to play home games at the grounds of Forest Green Rovers, Cirencester Town, Cheltenham Town and now Evesham United.

While the FSIF funding is important to the scheme, it is will fund considerably less than half of the total construction cost.

Mr Petheram confirmed to Punchline earlier this year that the balance of the "seven-figure sum" would be funded by the club's joint chairman.

The club have permission from the National League and the FA to move into the stadium as soon as it is completed and has a safety certificate. Mr Petheram has previously said that it would be "unlikely" for that to be this season as the non-League campaign ends in April.

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