Wrexham’s new Kop stand will not be open for the start of next season due to a series of hold-ups.
The League Two club had been hoping to start work on the 5,500 capacity stand in June after demolishing the old terrace that had stood empty since 2008.
Government funding of around £25million has been pledged to the Gateway project, which is part of a wider scheme to transform a key corridor into the city that includes improvements to the nearby Wrexham General station.
However, no building work has been done on the site since the demolition work took place during the final months of last season.
Four new floodlights, however, were added in the summer to bring the Racecourse Ground up to EFL standards following promotion.
No start date for the new stand is in place for what is expected to be a 12-month job.
Among the hold-ups has been the need to relocate an electrical sub-station that powers the student accommodation blocks that sit behind the main stand. An existing sewer also has to be diverted away from the land, with discussions ongoing with Welsh Water and Admiral Taverns, who own The Turf pub that sits right next to the stadium.
Other conditions that must be met before work can commence include the transfer of the lease for the Racecourse to the club from the Wrexham Supporters’ Trust (WST), the group who were bought out by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in February 2021.
“Good progress has been made with the WST in this regard,” according to a club statement, “with an update on the position due to be announced soon by the WST.”
Confirmation from UEFA that the new stand can meet the governing body’s Category 4 stadium grading is also required before work can begin. UEFA have visited the newly-sponsored SToK Cae Ras and their report is due soon.
The club statement added: “To enable a contract to build the Kop to be signed, the grant funding agreement from Wrexham County Borough Council needs to be finalised and the club satisfied that the conditions attached to the funding offer can be fulfilled.
“It is hoped that these negotiations will be completed before the end of October 2023.”
The delays are a blow to Wrexham, who have sold out every League Two fixture since being promoted last season. Demand regularly out-strips the supply of tickets and a new Kop stand is seen as the only solution.
Why have Wrexham received £25m in government funding for their stand?
(Photo: Richard Sutcliffe/The Athletic)