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Brighton stadium contract awarded

The £60M contract for the construction of a new state-of-the-art Stadium for Brighton & Hove Albion FC has been awarded to Buckingham Group.

The stadium will seat 22,500 fans and is to be built to the east of the City at Falmer, adjacent to the existing University of Brighton campus. Buckingham were previously Main Contractor for the £50M Milton Keynes Dons Stadium MK project.

As well as providing top quality stadium facilities for general spectators the scheme will incorporate Brighton & Hove Albion’s offices, a club shop, corporate hospitality and conference facilities which will have dual use with the football club’s education partners, plus independent education space for the local College.

Work on the new Falmer Stadium design started ten years ago. Planning consent was finally secured in July 2007 after two public planning inquiries.

The stadium scheme has been designed by London Sports Architects KSS Design Group and works will commence on site in December 2008 with completion in May 2011.

The stadium has been designed to interact with the surrounding natural landscape on the edge of the Sussex Downs. The curved arch roof reflects the shape of the rolling countryside and will be clad with clear pale blue polycarbonate sheeting.

Brighton & Hove Albion Club Chairman Dick Knight said that Brighton’s loyal fans would be thrilled with the quality of their new Stadium. "The Club found itself homeless in 1997 after the previous owner sold the Goldstone Ground for retail development. It’s been a long haul but we are truly delighted that the dream of building the Community Stadium is at last going to become a reality," said Mr. Knight.

Brighton & Hove Albion FC chief executive Martin Perry said the Board was pleased to have awarded the contract to Buckingham Group. "All the contractors underwent a rigorous competitive tender process – but it was Buckingham who convinced us that they are the best team for the job," he said.

Buckingham construction Director Kevin Underwood, who also headed up Manchester United’s East & West extensions and Reading’s Madjeski Stadium, said Buckingham Group is delighted to have won such a prestigious contract.

Underwood said: "Brighton’s Directors have a wealth of construction experience, they are practical men and totally committed to the successful delivery of the Community Stadium. We feel equally motivated and very much look forward to working together with them to produce a 21st Century Stadium complex we will all be proud to have been associated with".

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