The disastrous economic impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on English rugby has claimed another victim – the shelving of the Stadium for Bath project. There were hopes that Bath’s ad hoc stadium at the Rec would soon be in line for a badly needed redevelopment due to limited facilities at the 14,500-capacity ground. 

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However, the project has now been canned for the time being amid a climate where the indefinite suspension of the Gallagher Premiership season has led to player pay cuts and furloughs across the top flight in England. 

In a statement posted on the Bath website, the club outlined: “Our industry, like many others, is experiencing an extraordinarily difficult time and with such uncertainty surrounding us, it is the right and responsible decision to take time and pause the Stadium for Bath project.”

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Chief executive Tarquin McDonald added: “The world has changed almost overnight and we have paused our work on the project whilst our priorities are rightly in a different place.

“To bring forward plans for a new state of the art stadium in the heart of a World Heritage site is complex and it is important that we get it right. We will use this time to reflect on the work we have done so far and the needs of our club, our city and our community following Covid-19.

“While this pause is disappointing, it is right at this time and we would like to thank everyone involved in the project, including our supporters, all of our neighbours and local businesses in Bath who have contributed so much of their feedback over the past few years.”

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Stadium for Bath has been a project which aimed to bring together Bath Rugby, Bath Rugby Foundation and Arena 1865 – a collaboration formed to redevelop Bath’s stadium on the Rec in the heart of the city.

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