St James Park Redevelopment FAQs
We are aware of questions and queries that have been circulating on social media and from fans when they have visited St James Park, we hope the FAQs below are useful. Correct as of January 2018.
The new stand will seat 1,600, and although the capacity will be the same as the previous stand, it will offer a much better experience for fans. There has been some discussion on social media over Exeter City FC’s plans for the future, particularly around whether it will be possible to extend the stand.
A spokesman for the club said: ‘The stand that is being built is capable of being extended into the ‘triangle’ should the need arise in the future. This space is currently being developed to provide new toilets and refreshment facilities for the Big Bank. Extending the stand is possible due to its design, although the cost of doing so would be particularly prohibitive due to the shape of the site and its proximity to the railway line.’
The St James Park redevelopment project is being paid for by Exeter City Council from the proceeds of the sale of the land behind the Big Bank plus a contribution from the developers to fund the gap in the costs. The club is contributing £265,000 towards the project for the new Away Stand, which was not guaranteed as part of the original scheme.
The original project programme, which is still on schedule, indicated an early October 2018 finish. Based on current progress, this would see the Stagecoach stand being finished in September and the new Away End Stand being the last element to be completed in the October.
The total cost of the redevelopment is just over £3.4 million.
The funding of the project is quite complex. The football club has given up the final four years of its lease on the area behind the Big Bank which is owned by Exeter City Council.
The council has sold the land to a developer who has also purchased the adjoining site and obtained planning permission for a development of over 300 Student Beds. The council is using the income from the sale to fund the replacement of the Stagecoach Stand (or Old Grandstand) which it owns. The developer is also contributing to the cost of the project from the proceeds of the overall development.
Following feedback from the public exhibitions and with the strong backing of the Supporters’ Trust, the football club is contributing £200,000 to make sure that the Away End Stand, which was never guaranteed as part of the original project, can be completed.
As of January 2018, progress has been good, toilets have been built in the end of the Thatchers Big Bank and new changing rooms have been constructed under the IP Office Stand.
The replacement Control Cabin and First Aid unit have been placed in their temporary position.
The Stagecoach Stand and Away End Terraces have been demolished, an 18 metre temporary floodlight tower has been erected and eight new permanent floodlights fixed to the roof of the Big Bank since the work began in June.
The piling for the new stand will start in January. This will be followed by concrete works to provide the foundations for the steel frame which will start to be erected in March assuming no delays are encountered.
The lack of foundations under the existing stand has delayed the project for two reasons. Firstly, it has resulted in a lot more unsuitable material having to be removed from the site and, secondly, because the plan had been to crush the concrete from what was believed to be the existing foundations to provide a solid base for the piling. Material has had to be imported to make up the unexpected shortfall.
The revised planning application for the student housing development has absolutely no impact on the project.
Based on current progress it is anticipated that the new stand will open in September 2018. This may change as the project proceeds. We will report on progress in our regular monthly updates on the website
1600, almost exactly the same as the existing stand.
The new stand will be called the Stagecoach Stand.
Network Rail have been closely involved with the project from the start and have been very helpful. All the necessary permits and permissions have been obtained. It would be the location of the railway line in that corner of the Stadium that would restrict any future development rather than any direct requirements from Network Rail.
These are two separate developments with different contractors. The student accommodation is a £25 million, two-year project. Any decisions about the student accommodation site do not impact on the St James Park redevelopment.