Leicester City Football Club have been given permission to expand the King Power Stadium by 8,000 seats, something which will make it the tenth largest among current Premier League sites.
At a planning meeting yesterday (Wednesday, September 14), councillors agreed unanimously to approve the move, which will take the stadium’s capacity to 40,000.
The club applied for planning permission from Leicester City Council back in October, following a public consultation, which attracted positive support from the community.
Despite overwhelming the support for the scheme, there was some opposition from the neighbouring Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club, who argued that it would overshadow their grounds.
However, councillors said that they did not consider this to be unacceptable in stopping the expansion, which will take place in the stadium’s East Stand.
Alongside this, plans to create a new 220 room hotel and business centre, flagship fan store, events area and residential flats on site were also approved.
A spokesman for Leicester City Football Club said that more than 1,000 jobs would be created during the construction period, together with another 1,000 permanent positions across the facilities on site.
At the meeting, it was said that the expansion would be a significant development not only for the club, but also the city of Leicester as a whole.
Members expressed their excitement about the benefits it would bring to the city – including more employment and a boost to the local economy. It would also help to improve Leicester’s profile as a city and as a club they agreed.
At the meeting, one councillor said that the move would “take Leicester to a new high.”
Councillor Vijay Singh Riyait told the Leicester Times that the approval was “one of the most important developments in the recent history of the city.”
“It’s significant not only for the club, but also for the city as well,” he said.
“It’s a very significant development locally, not only economically, but also in terms of adding to the social and cultural aspects of the city.”
LCFC Chief Executive Susan Whelan said that the club “warmly welcomed” the decision reached by the Planning and Development Control Committee.
“We extend our gratitude to Leicester City Council for its ongoing support in the realisation of this shared vision for our city,” she added.
The earliest possible completion date for the expansion will be Summer 2024.