Decision details

Development and regeneration programme Hereford Football Stadium refurbishment preliminary appraisal

Decision Maker: Cabinet member contracts and assets

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To approve the scope and cost of the first stage of appraisal services to be provided by the council’s developer partner, Engie Regeneration, in respect of a potential project to refurbish and redevelop part of the Edgar Street Stadium, the Blackfriars Stand and the West Stand, supported by funding from the provision of new commercial uses which meet the needs of the wide community of stakeholders and are complementary to the local area including the Old Market.

The Herefordshire Economic Vision was adopted by Council in December 2016 as the Economic Development Strategy for the county. This identifies the regeneration of Edgar Street Stadium, home to Hereford Football Club, as a key opportunity for redevelopment as part of the masterplan for regenerating central Hereford. The council has undertaken an initial assessment of redevelopment options and discussions with HFC regarding their priorities and those of the Council.

The council has entered into an overarching agreement with Engie Regeneration, a developer, for a programme of development and regeneration over the next 10 years and potentially beyond. In accordance with that agreement, the developer partner will be commissioned to develop a project through the mechanism of a “New Project Request” and will progress the project in “Stages”.

The New Project Request specifies the council’s initial requirements and its criteria for the  development, which can be refined as the project moves forward.

The developer partner has estimated the cost of the Stage 1 appraisal services which include the development of the outline business case and a proposed programme for delivery. These costs are required to be underwritten by the council as specified in the overarching agreement.

Decision:

That:

(a)            the redevelopment of the Edgar Street stadium be placed into the development and regeneration programme (DRP); 

(b)            a new project request to carry out a preliminary (“Stage 1”) appraisal of    development options for the Edgar Street Stadium Blackfriars Stand and West Stand be issued to Engie Regeneration, in accordance with the council criteria set out within Appendix 1 of this report; 

(c)            a Stage 1 Development Fee of up to £120k be approved to be underwritten by the Council under the terms of its overarching agreement with Engie Regeneration; and

(d)            (d) A capital sum of £50k is approved for drawing down from the Development Partnership capital budget in order to support the council in delivering Stage 1 of the project, including the covering of staff costs and external advisers to the council.

Alternative options considered:

1                 The council could choose not to proceed with this work. However, a high level feasibility study has indicated that there is potential for the redevelopment of all or part of the ground.  Elements of redevelopment have some commercial potential or have lower cost implications and are worthy of further consideration. The work being requested will inform understanding of the opportunities including costs and benefits of potential redevelopment options including the potential for re-providing the southern stand which is not utilised due to its current condition and its failure to meet required standards. This is a key driver for the appraisal. Implementation of the project will be subject to further governance, informed by the business case. 

2                 The council could choose to offer the opportunity for the market to deliver a redevelopment, under a procured contract for works. However, this is not recommended at this stage. The purpose of the preliminary appraisal work recommended in this report is to ensure that the council is well informed as to the potential opportunities, challenges and constraints of the proposed redevelopment of the site. Once that work is complete both the council and its development partner, Engie, have the ability to decide if they wish to proceed with further detailed work on the project, or not. If the decision was not to proceed with Engie then other options, including offering a scheme to the market, could be explored at that time.

3       The council could include replacement of the East ‘Merton’ stand with 800 seats, the main facilities, player and officials changing, administration, executive accommodation, bars, conference and private function facilities. However, including this option at this stage was considered too high cost and would be disruptive to the operation of the football club at this stage in it’s development.

4       The council could include the replacement of the North ‘Meadow’ stand with standing capacity for 1,500 and concourse facilities. However, this option was considered to offer too little impact compared to the cost of reproviding the facilities at this time.and would also be disruptive if included at this stage.

 

Wards Affected: Widemarsh;

Contact: Richard Gabb, Programme Director Housing and Growth Email: rgabb@herefordshire.gov.uk Tel: 01432261902.

Publication date: 13/11/2018

Date of decision: 13/11/2018

Effective from: 20/11/2018

Accompanying Documents: