Chairman Tom Walkinshaw has confirmed that Gloucester Rugby Club will have the biggest exclusive club rugby union ground in the Premiership after announcing plans for a new £8 million grandstand development for the start of the 2005/06 season.
Talking to the Kingsholm crowd before Saturday's Zurich Premiership game against Leeds on Saturday, Walkinshaw guaranteed that a new 7,500 seated capacity stand, taking the capacity from 13,000 to more than 17,500, would be constructed this summer.
"As you all know we've been working on a grandstand development (opposite the Shed) at Kingsholm for some time now, and I'm delighted to be able to confirm that it will now go ahead this summer, in time for the new season," said Walkinshaw.
"We have been working non-stop in the last few days to get to the stage where we can press the green button.
"The new £8 million stand will have more than 7,500 seats, taking our capacity to more than 17,500, making us the biggest solus club rugby union ground in the Premiership, and one of the biggest in Europe. The new development will take this club into an all-year round business."
Gloucester first moved to its Kingsholm ground in 1891 and the West Country location has become famous for its team and passionate supporters throughout the world.
"Kingsholm is the home of Gloucester Rugby Club, and will continue to be so. It means as much to everyone at the Club to stay here as it does to all of you," Walkinshaw said to the Kingsholm crowd.
Addressing the supporters, the Club chairman added: "You've all told us how much you want the ground to develop, and it's now going to happen.
"There is a lot of hard work that needs to go into making this a success, and we need your support throughout the next five months to achieve it.
"This decision has only just been made, and over the next few days and weeks we'll be announcing more information about the project, including a full breakdown of the facilities that will include the 7,500 seats, a new 1,500 capacity bar, a new shop, conference facilities, corporate boxes and more," stated the Club chairman.
The Club intends to announce details of season tickets for all areas of the ground, including the new stand, in time for the Saracens game on 30 April.
Gloucester Rugby Club will be announcing further details of the development throughout the course of the next few weeks.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.