Forest Green Rovers and Ecotricity have revealed the next stages of the long-awaited Eco Park development.
The plan for Rovers’ new home includes the all-wooden 5000 seat stadium for FGR – approved in December 2019. The use of land on both sides of the A419 will also feature a green tech business park. The site will cater for 38k sq metres of office space and 18k sq metres of industrial space, designed to host companies working in the zero carbon economy.
The development will contribute around $286m to the local economy annually, while generating $3.8m per year in business rates for Stroud District Council. The full plan aligns with proposed changes to the local idea, and the district council and Gfirst LEP’s intention is to bring green industries and knowledge-intensive sectors into the M5 growth zone.
Ecotricity will also build a comprehensive new training facility at Eco Park for Forest Green, that is recognised by both the United Nations and FIFA as the world’s greenest football club.
The new training complex will bring together the youth, academy, women’s and first team together, and has already secured the backing of Forest Green Rover’s partner, Candriam – the global leader in sustainable investing.
The plans will improve the habitat on site, with a biodiversity net gain of almost 12% from its existing green fields. The stadium will be enclosed in a parkland setting with more than 2km of new hedgerows, several thousand new trees and wetland, and the return of the canal. The site is also expected to self-generate over 80% of all energy used.
Founder of Ecotricity and Chairman of Forest Green Rovers, Dale Vince:
“With Eco Park we’ll be able to properly push the boundaries of sustainable development. The beating green heart of this project will be the lowest carbon football stadium in the world ever, at least since the Roman’s invented concrete – which is fitting given we’ve got Roman remains on the site,” he said.
“We’re hoping to get to work on training facilities in the next couple of months – and ultimately create a fantastic facility for all elements of the FGR football family to train together.”