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Backing for Saracens' revised stadium plans

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Revised plans put forward by Saracens rugby union team for the transformation of Copthall Stadium in Barnet, London, have been backed by two national governing bodies for sport.

UK Athletics (UKA) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have both indicated support for the £18m proposals, which have been submitted to Barnet Council for consideration.

Saracens is planning a major overhaul of the venue, which would include a refurbishment of existing facilities; new permanent facilities; and the installation of temporary seating.

The current main building to the west of the venue will be redeveloped and a new permanent stand will be constructed to the east for use by athletics and rugby union spectators.

Offering fully covered seating, the total capacity of the east and west structures will be 3,000, while the refurbished west stand would also house facilities for clubs and officials.

An all-weather surface inside the athletics track will host up to 16 Saracens matches per year, with the venue made available to the community and other sports clubs at other times.

For the rugby matches, temporary seating will increase the seating capacity to 10,000, which is 3,000 more than the current average attendance for Saracens at Watford's Vicarage Road.

An indoor training area for athletics, as well as outdoor facilities such as four "unimpeded" lanes of the track, a throws area and a jumps area would also be included.

UKA chief executive Niels de Vos said: "The establishment of an indoor athletics facility which allows, for the first time in Barnet, training and competition to take place all the year round will help to develop the sport at all levels."

RFU head of funding and facilities Simon Winman said: "We offer our strongest support for the proposals in establishing a sustainable rugby venue for the community and professional game at Copthall Stadium."

Details: www.copthallrevival.co.uk

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Revised plans put forward by Saracens rugby union team for the transformation of Copthall Stadium in Barnet, London, have been backed by two national governing bodies for sport.
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