By Ali Stokes
Reigning Premiership champions Saracens have announced that the North London club has been granted planning permission and secured funding in partnership with Barnet Council to renovate the West Stand at Allianz Park.
The current West Stand in the multi-purpose North London stadium will be transformed into a modern, fit for purpose event facility and community hub for education, sporting and outreach activities
The £23 million redevelopment project will include:
Saracens chief executive officer, Mitesh Velani, said: "We have been working closely with Barnet Council and our community partners developing plans for the West Stand that we can all be proud of. I am delighted we have made positive strides forward.
"The West Stand redevelopment project demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the best environment for our teams to thrive, a modern home where our fans create memories together and extending community initiatives that improve the lives of people in North London."
James Kennedy, Middlesex University’s Chief Financial Officer, commented: "Middlesex University has been working with Saracens on this project for several years. Together we have developed an exciting proposal for the West Stand and we are very pleased that London Borough of Barnet have been able to support us. The three organisations working together offer an exciting opportunity to make a real difference to Copthall and the Borough."
The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: "We should never underestimate the huge contribution both Saracens and Middlesex University have already made to the local community in Barnet. Saracens have transformed Allianz Park into a thriving community sports and education facility, hosting a huge range of events for schools, older people and those with learning disabilities. They have also recently opened the new Saracens High School.
"This is a positive development for communities in Barnet. We are therefore delighted to support Saracens and Middlesex University in their plans to improve and build for the future."
Gordon Banks, Chief Community Officer at Saracens, commented: "Allianz Park has become a thriving community hub with thousands of residents enjoying the high-quality facilities available at the stadium. The new West Stand will build on this success and through the Saracens Sport Foundation and our partnership with Middlesex University we can help improve the lives of even more local people."
The Club aims to start the construction phase at the end of the current rugby season (summer of 2019) with completion anticipated in 2020. Matches will continue to be played at Allianz Park during this period and the Club will keep supporters updated throughout the process.