THE DEMOLITION of Gloucester's Grandstand began yesterday - paving the way for the new development at Kingsholm.
The original stand, that was opened in 1932, is being replaced by more than 6,000 seats ahead of next season that will take Kingsholm's capacity to almost 17,000.
Ken Nottage, Gloucester's managing director told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk "It is difficult to describe just how significant this development is to Gloucester Rugby and I am pretty sure that I speak for every member of staff at the club - on and off the field.
"I cannot praise highly enough the work that has been accomplished in the last few months to make a project of this size successful.
"We are a club who want to be challenging for the top honours in the game with the hugely exciting squad that is being assembled, and this off-field development will take Gloucester Rugby and Kingsholm to the next level.
"There is an awful lot of work to be accomplished but I am delighted such a great start has been made."
Yesterday, the old ticket office and parts of the Members' Bar were demolished following the soft demolition on Sunday and by the end of the week, demolition on the main Grandstand will have started.
Sean Roberts, Operations Manager, added: "This is a great step forward, work is on schedule and although it sad to see such a famous old structure demolished, Gloucester Rugby is moving towards a bright future - something that everybody at the club wants.
"Over the coming weeks, the Grandstand will go, the site will be cleared and then foundation and ducting work on the new build will begin."
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.