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Wolves get green light for 40m stadium redevelopment

Thu 10th Feb 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Wolverhampton Wanderer’s Chairman, Steve Morgan, has today given the green light for the first step in the Club's Molineux redevelopment plans to begin at the end of this season.

The Chairman also outlined his hope that Molineux's transformation into an iconic, yet modern, landmark would be a 'source of pride and excitement,' for supporters and the local community alike. And at the same time provide an 'economic shot in the arm' for the City of Wolverhampton.

In a statement on the club’s website Morgan outlined his vision for the club describing the development as a 'brave and decisive leap forward' in order to compete at the highest level.

Phase One will begin with the demolition of the Stan Cullis (North) Stand in May 2011. An all new two-tier stand that extends into the north east open corner will be constructed. Once completed, Molineux's capacity will rise from around 29,000 to approximately 31,700. The Stand is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2012/2013 Season.

Phase One will cost approximately £16 million and will be funded from existing cash flow. If the Club proceeds with Phase Two then the total cost of the project will be approximately £40 million and Molineux's capacity will rise to around 36,000. However, the Club stressed that the precise final capacity figure is subject to change.  The plans for Phase Three have not been costed. The project has been broken down into phases to enable the Club to 'pause and reflect' if required.

Included in the redevelopment will be a new Club Megastore, Museum, Café, a Family Information Centre, impressive pitch facing hospitality facilities (including a 500 plus capacity room, which can be adapted for different events) and a larger accessible lounge for disabled supporters.

The new, interactive Museum will play an important role in engaging even more Fans of the Future. Over the past few years an additional 20,000 youngsters and their families have attended games resulting from the Wolves 4 Family Football campaign, which in recent times has seen the Club being independently named as 'Family Club of the Year.'

The design depicts a 21st Century Molineux with timeless appeal that respects the Club's heritage, whilst also includes sympathetic detail of the Club's famous old gold and black colours.

However, there are still some remaining legal formalities to be completed with Wolverhampton City Council, but these are expected to be finalised within a matter of days.

In announcing today's news, Steve said: "The aim is to drive the Club forwards at all levels and to ensure we put our team in the best possible position to compete at the highest level.  To do that we need the best possible facilities at Molineux.

"New facilities, better seats, much wider concourses and increased catering offerings will also give our fans a great match day - and non-match day - experience of visiting Molineux and supporting the team.

"We know there is a balance to be struck. This decision is about a statement of our commitment, belief and ambition and about the planned success for Wolves over the medium to long-term but we will also continue our policy of investing in our talented, young squad because there is no point in having a great stadium if we don't have a great team to play in it.

"As well as the football, we have always stressed the importance of the Club also playing a key role in the life of the City. And we are keen for Molineux to grow as a source of immense civic pride for everyone in Wolverhampton.

"It has taken a tremendous amount of work to arrive at this point. I'd like to thank everyone at the Club and our partners, in particular Wolverhampton City Council , Wolverhampton University and AFL Architects for their on-going support in helping us get this far. There is a lot of hard work to be done and we will continue to require the support of the Council and other stakeholders.

"I'd like to welcome on-board our main contractors, The Buckingham Group, who were chosen from an exhaustive tender and selection process. I'd also like to thank all of the organisations who participated in the tender process. It was a field packed full of expertise and professionalism.

"This is a brave and decisive leap forward but one which will open up an exciting and historic new chapter for the benefit of everyone connected to this wonderful football club and City."

(pic Molineux Stadium. www.wolves.co.uk)

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