The Tom Finney Splash statue at Preston

FWP toasts Preston North End rebuild

Architects the Frank Whittle Partnership will mark the end of the 14-year project to rebuild Preston North End FC's football ground this weekend, when the final stand to be completed hosts its first fans for the club's opening Championship fixture against Crystal Palace.

The new 4,000-seat Invincibles Pavilion at PNE's Deepdale ground cost £9m and includes 21 executive boxes, two hospitality lounges, a players' bar and new ground control facilities for police.

Following its lengthy £50m redevelopment, Deepdale is occupied seven days a week and the companies and organisations based in the ground's stands include the acclaimed National Football Museum, Heathcote's Outside Catering business, a Preston College outreach centre, Preston North End In The Community's offices and a Fitness First gym. The new Invincibles Pavilion is home to an NHS clinic.

David Robinson, managing partner of Manchester-based FWP, worked on the redevelopment of Deepdale into a 24,000-capacity stadium from the start. A North End supporter, he said: "It is fantastic to see what we have achieved here. We are all extremely proud of the new Deepdale, which has to be one of the best grounds outside the Premier League and a showcase sporting arena.

"What has been created over the years is a classic example of making a football ground the focus of local life seven days a week – not just once a fortnight on match day.

"And what is also great for Preston is that Deepdale is now such an iconic piece of the nation's football architecture.

"The new Deepdale is far removed from the all purpose out of town "bowls" that you see on industrial sites in other towns and cities where clubs have built new grounds."

FWP is now working on the £80m redevelopment of Oldham's Boundary Park ground and Peel Holdings' proposed Manchester Racecourse near Worsley. It has also been involved in development work at Aintree, Chester, Royal Windsor and Haydock Park racecourses.

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