New Grandstand Plans
Initial plans for the proposed refurbished grandstand at Home Park were released by Plymouth Argyle yesterday.
The plans went on view to the public for the first time and were well received by the fans present at the exhibition and subsequently with later comments with the majority being realistic and very satisfied with the new development, although there are still some questions to be answered.
New director Simon Hallett and his wife Jane have loaned the club around £5 million on generous terms to refurbish the grandstand with the focus on commercial and corporate facilities to enable the club to earn money seven days a week and therefore provide more funding for the first team.
The plans show a stage 1 project followed by a previously unannounced stage 2 project and at this point it is unknown if the £5 million loan will cover both stages of the building project or just stage 1.
The capacity of the three tier refurbished stage 1 grandstand looks to be in the region of 5,400 which will take the total capacity of Home Park to 17,500, give or take 300.
In stage 1 the original grandstand roof and associated pillars will remain, the top tier has 18 rows of new seats, the middle tier is the corporate area where there are groups of four rows of seats and the bottom tier has 10 rows of new seats plus a disabled area. Unfortunately the existing roof does not cover most of the bottom tier.
However, the real change is behind the seating area where a conference and hospitality facility will overlook the pitch, a reception area with a lift to the upper tier will welcome guests into the complex, there will be several corporate boxes linked to the groups of seats in the middle tier, a new kitchen, toilets and players lounge will also feature.
The rear of the grandstand will be extended to accommodate the new facilities.
Away from the grandstand a supporter's bar and new player dressing rooms will be built and a new club shop will be erected at the front of Home Park.
The impressive stage 2 part of the refurbishment will see the corners of the Home Park filled in, which means the Barn Park End and the Devonport End will both be extended to meet the grandstand, the grandstand roof will also be extended to cover the whole of the bottom tier; a new strengthening girder will span the grandstand roof from the extended Barn Park End to the Devonport End.
Unfortunately there was no architect present at the unveiling of the plans to ask any questions, however overall stage 1 will move the club forward and for £5 million the refurbished grandstand looks impressive - the club has received a lot of bang for its buck - with stage 2 being the cherry of the cake!