Thursday, 10 July 2014

New Bath Rugby partner Sir James Dyson backs club"s plans for new stadium

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Sir James Dyson has urged the population of Bath to get behind Bath Rugby’s plans to develop a new stadium at The Rec after his company was unveiled as the club’s new title partner on Thursday.

The agreement will see two of the city’s most famous brands join forces. Dyson will become Bath’s principal sponsor for the next two seasons which will see the corporation’s name emblazoned on the club’s kit.

Sir James was a regular guest of club chairman Bruce Craig at matches at The Rec throughout last season. The world-famous vacuum cleaner inventor has been particularly impressed by plans to redevelop Bath Rugby’s city centre home.

A long-standing dispute over land at The Rec has so far left the club frustrated in their bid to build a new stadium but Sir James believes it should be welcomed with open arms.

Sir James said: “I think it’s a wonderful scheme and the best stadium I’ve ever seen.

“It’s just perfect for Bath. I think it’s a fantastic addition. Bath’s very lucky to have it.

“Having a coliseum in the heart of the city is what all good Roman cities should have. It would just be wonderful to see it.”

The ongoing saga over the new stadium draws parallels with Sir James’ own attempt to develop a new design school in the city at the former Stothert Pitt Newark Works site at South Quays.

Six years ago, Sir James had to abandon his plans after the Government, which had asked him to launch the project, pulled the plug on funding.

Bath and North East Somerset Council had supported his school project and Sir James hopes opinions can change to allow the club to press on with their plan.

Sir James added: “I’m sure that Bath will realise what a wonderful gift they are having in that stadium. Not only is it an architectural masterpiece, Bruce is prepared to pay for it.

“Bath should welcome it. I hope they do with open arms.

“Nothing has happened on the South Quays site, they weren’t interested in what we wanted to do. I think they’ll miss out if they don’t grab these opportunities when they’re presented.”

The club are currently waiting on a decision on plans to temporarily expand the stadium at The Rec and Bath Rugby chairman Mr Craig hopes to have the project for a new ground completed within two years.

Mr Craig added: “We’ve been put back 12 months but we are hoping that for the 2016-17 season we’d like to put the project into fruition.

“The thing with rugby is it’s a fundamental part of the city. It would be such a tragedy if what 98 per cent of the population of Bath want doesn’t happen.”

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New Bath Rugby partner Sir James Dyson backs club"s plans for new stadium

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