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South Stand Latest

Tue 05 Aug 2008

Tangerine World caught up with Matt Gilkes and Brendan Flannagan from Fletcher King Howard Associates on Monday afternoon and asked them for the latest on the South Stand.

It has been a couple of weeks since the announcement was made about the South Stand, supporters were expecting to see various bits of machinery on the land but there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity, can you give the latest of where we are at?
We are at the design stage which is roughly an eight week period, we need to get the design in place, appoint architects, structural engineers, and a professional team, you won't actually see any work or any digging out until probably the end of this month, then we will move on with the piling and the steel work, but you won't actually see a structure move up from the ground until about November time which is when the steel frame will go in.

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So what stage are we at now?
We are just in the design stage at the moment, which is included in the 40 week programme, we have had our second design team meeting on Monday morning and we have one of those every fortnight and it will be three to four weeks, before you will see anything going on. We are going out to tender with a couple of packages now which means we will be talking to contractors and getting prices back from them and then we will move on to the construction faze.

So when do you actually expect construction to start?
The first thing we will do is a geotechnical survey which will take place in the next week or so, we will then go out to tender on the piling, we will also send the steelwork tender out as well, that will take about six weeks.

When can fans expect the stand to be up and running?
We are looking at May, we are trying to beat that but May is a realistic date, we would like to get some people in the seats in the last home match or two but we cannot guarantee that, but certainly we will have it finished by May.

We will be able to have regular updates on the progress?
There will be regular updates and once they see the first piece of kit turn up on the site, they will be convinced that something is happening.

We suppose the message is stick with us, we are doing things behind the scenes
That's right we are working hard to get things right, someone made a comment about the Preston North End stand not taking long to build, but people forget that you don't see anything until the contractors get on site, they will have had people on site getting things right for two to three months prior to getting started. It is a big structure and it is a big project and you can't just turn up and start building we would love to be able to do that but it does take time to come together and the more time we spend on the design stage the less risk there is in making mistakes as we go on

Subscribers to Tangerine World are able to listen to the full exclusive interview with Brendan and Matt from Fletcher King Howard.

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