Brentford Community Stadium

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Brentford Community Stadium
Brentford Community Stadium 2020.jpg
View from the exterior of the stadium (2020)
Brentford Community Stadium
Full nameBrentford Community Stadium
Location166 Lionel Road North, Brentford
Public transit National Rail logo.svg Kew Bridge
Operator Brentford F.C.
Capacity 17,250 [1]
Field size105 x 68 m (association football)
110 x 66m (rugby union)
Surface Desso Grassmaster
Construction
Broke ground25 March 2017
BuiltSpring 2018–Summer 2020
Opened1 September 2020
Construction cost£71 million [2]
ArchitectAFL Architects [3]
Structural engineer Arup [4]
Tenants
Brentford F.C. (2020–present)
London Irish (2020–present)

Brentford Community Stadium is a stadium in Brentford, West London, that is the home of both Premier League club Brentford and Premiership Rugby club London Irish. The stadium has a capacity of 17,250 and is suitable for use for both association football and rugby union matches. The new stadium is at the heart of plans to regenerate the surrounding area, including new homes and commercial opportunities.

Contents

Background

In October 2002, following several years of speculation about a possible relocation, Brentford Football Club announced plans to move to a 20,000-capacity stadium near Kew Bridge. This included an ambitious monorail proposal, which was later dropped from the scheme. After several years of uncertainty, the project was suddenly brought back to public attention in late 2007 when the club announced that it had secured an option on the site. [5]

This was followed up in February 2008 when a partnership deal with Barratt Homes to develop the site was announced. [6]

The club's plan to move to a new community stadium took a massive step forward when, on 28 June 2012, the club bought the 7.6-acre (31,000 m2) site in Lionel Road, Brentford, from Barratt Homes who had originally acquired the site in January 2008. The club aimed to build a 20,000-capacity stadium on the land in time for the 2016–17 season, with the option of extending to 25,000 seats. In December 2013 the club was given approval for the new stadium by Hounslow Council with further approval sought and received from the Mayor of London and the government in December 2013. [7]

Attention then shifted to acquiring the remaining land, required for the enabling development of flats, and completing the development agreement. A Compulsory Purchase Order was approved for the remaining land in the summer of 2014 [8] and although negotiations continued, a number of objections to the CPO resulted in a further hearing in September 2015. [9] The development agreement was signed with Willmott Dixon in December 2014. [10] The CPO was approved in April 2016 and the process completed on 1 September 2016. [11]

On 15 August 2016, rugby union club London Irish announced that discussions were ongoing with the borough for a move to the new stadium as tenants of Brentford F.C. Irish played in Reading, Berkshire, but were hoping to move back to the capital. [12] An amended application to use the stadium for rugby in addition to its main purpose of hosting football was passed on 9 February 2017, effectively allowing London Irish to play at the stadium from its opening season. [13] It was later confirmed they would move to Brentford from its opening season [14] [15]

Work on the new football stadium officially started on 24 March 2017 with site clearance and preliminary works. [16] The main works began in spring 2018. [17]

Opening

On 30 August 2020, Brentford confirmed that the stadium was complete and ready to host football matches. [18]

The first football match at the stadium took place on 1 September 2020 when Brentford drew 2–2 against Oxford United in a pre-season friendly. [19] Sergi Canos scored both Brentford goals to give the home side a 2–0 lead before Oxford United staged a late comeback. The first competitive match took place on 6 September when Brentford hosted Wycombe Wanderers in the first round of the EFL Cup. [20] The match finished 1–1 after normal time, with Brentford's Ethan Pinnock opening the scoring. It took a penalty shoot-out to decide the match, which Brentford won 4–2. The first league game to take place at the stadium was a 3–0 win over Huddersfield Town on 19 September, with goals coming from Josh Dasilva, Bryan Mbeumo and Marcus Forss. [21]

London Irish played their inaugural match at the stadium on 29 November, 2020 when they beat Leicester Tigers 22–9. The first try was scored by Curtis Rona of London Irish.

Location

The stadium is located on a 7.6 acres (31,000 m2) site off Lionel Road, adjacent to Kew Bridge railway station. It stands in the middle of a triangle of railway lines, predominantly used for freight. Hounslow Council has been pushing a proposal for an extension of Crossrail to Hounslow via Kew Bridge, using one of these freight lines. The outline document suggested a station could be built to serve the Lionel Road site. The proposal is unlikely to make it into the first phase of the Crossrail project, but might be a later addition to the route. [22] The nearest London Underground Tube station is Gunnersbury, served on both the District Line and London Overground.

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References

  1. "Brentford FC New Stadium |". newstadium.brentfordfc.com.
  2. "Regeneration Committee site visit to Brentford FC" (PDF). Greater London Authority . 15 July 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  3. "Brentford Community Stadium". AFL Architects. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  4. Catherine Kennedy (19 September 2020). "Arup's role on Brentford Stadium draws to a close". New Civil Engineer.
  5. "Brentford given new stadium boost". BBC News. 7 December 2007.
  6. "BRENTFORD FOOTBALL CLUB AND BARRATT HOMES TEAM UP TO ACQUIRE LAND FOR NEW COMMUNITY STADIUM – Brentford – News – Latest News – Latest News". Archived from the original on 29 April 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  7. "Brentford Football Club given Lionel Road stadium go-ahead". BBC News. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  8. "Compulsory purchase plans approved to secure Brentford stadium site". Get West London. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  9. "Public inquiry over Brentford FC stadium set for September". Get West London. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  10. "Brentford FC and Willmott Dixon sign Development Agreement for Brentford Community Stadium". Brentford FC. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  11. "News | Brentford Community Stadium". Brentford Community Stadium. Brentford FC Ltd. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  12. Hyde, Nathan. "London Irish could soon leave Madejski Stadium". Get Reading. Trinity Mirror Southern. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  13. "Approval for rugby". Brentford Community Stadium. Retrieved 10 February 2017..
  14. "Back in Town — The Irish are Returning to London!". London Irish. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  15. "London Irish to move to Brentford Community Stadium in 2020". 18 December 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2019 via www.bbc.co.uk.
  16. "Work Underway". Brentford Community Stadium. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  17. "Brentford new groundbreaking stadium: one year on". Pitchcare. 7 April 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  18. "Brentford FC move in to new home". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  19. "Oxford United the visitors tomorrow for first game at new stadium". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 31 August 2020.[ permanent dead link ]
  20. "Opening competitive fixture at new stadium chosen for TV coverage". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  21. "Brentford FC 3-0 Huddersfield Town FC 19/09/2020". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  22. "CORRIDOR 7: CROSSRAIL TO HOUNSLOW – A Proposal by the London Borough of Hounslow in Response to Consultation by Cross London Rail Links Ltd" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2019.

Coordinates: 51°29′26.97″N0°17′19.32″W / 51.4908250°N 0.2887000°W / 51.4908250; -0.2887000