Herefordshire Council is on the hunt for a development partner to spearhead the creation of student accommodation and a new stand at Hereford FC’s Edgar Street stadium. This initiative comes as part of a plan to replace the currently unusable Blackfriars Street stand, deemed a health and safety hazard and described as “dilapidated” in recent council reports.

The council, which owns the city-centre site and leases it to the National League North club until 2030, has highlighted the poor condition of the stand as detracting from the northern city area’s regeneration efforts. Surrounded by recent developments, the stand’s state contrasts sharply with its environment, underscoring the need for its demolition and the site’s revitalisation.

With an open tender already launched for a £125,000 contract to dismantle the stand between May and August, the council’s vision extends to providing Hereford FC with a completed four-sided stadium. Furthermore, the plan includes the integration of new student housing, a project initially set in motion by the county’s former Conservative administration but paused following a change in governance in 2019.

Hereford FC chairman, Chris Ammonds, has expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with the council to redevelop the Blackfriars End, envisioning a future that not only enhances the club’s facilities but also meets the city’s growing demand for student accommodation.

In addition to the Edgar Street project, the council is developing plans for further student accommodation at the College Road campus, acquired for £5.4 million in 2019. This site, home to the Hereford College of Arts, is poised for a £254,000 investment to advance both projects to the design, costing, and planning approval stage. This investment aligns with the council’s broader strategy to bolster Herefordshire’s economic vitality by addressing challenges such as low wages, skills shortages, and an ageing population through the expansion of higher education facilities.

The proximity of both sites to the NMITE building in Widemarsh Street, where plans for a new £2-million skills hub are underway, as well as their nearness to the county hospital, underscores the strategic importance of these developments in meeting the local need for student accommodation and supporting Hereford’s educational infrastructure.