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 Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.
The Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby team travelled to Fenton Manor Complex, Stoke on Trent last Saturday to take part in the final round of the GBWR Super Series of the season, knowing just one win would be enough to crown them Division 3 Champions.