Herefordshire Council has confirmed it is looking for a partner to develop student flats alongside a new stand at Hereford FC’s Edgar Street stadium once a “dilapidated” stand is demolished.

The council owns the city-centre site which it leases to the National League North club, currently until 2030. But the Blackfriars Street stand on the south side of the pitch is currently unusable due to health and safety restrictions.

The “dilapidated” stand “is a significant blight to the regeneration of the northern area of the city,” where it stands in contrast to recent development around it, a recent council report says.


The council now has an open tender for a £125,000 contract to demolish the stand, expected to undertaken between May and August.

A new building here would provide the club with a four-sided ground while enabling new student accommodation alongside, the report says, adding these plans were already in train under the county’s previous Conservative administration but were paused when it lost power in 2019.

Hereford FC chairman Chris Ammonds has said he is “excited at the prospect of working closely with the council to develop the Blackfriars End”.

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The council also plans more student accommodation at the city’s College Road campus, which it bought for £5.4 million in 2019. Its buildings of various ages are used by Hereford College of Arts (HCA) which has recently invested in new facilities.

According to a report due to be signed off by the council’s cabinet member for assets Coun Harry Bramer, it will spend £254,000 on the two plans, working with a development partner, yet to be selected, to take both up to the design, costing and planning approval stage.


A further cabinet decision will then be needed to appoint a builder for the work.

Both sites are near the NMITE (New Model in Technology and Engineering) building in Widemarsh Street, where planning permission is currently being sought for a new £2-million skills hub, as well as to HCA and to the county hospital which also has an ongoing need for student accommodation.

The move is part of the council's attempts to address Herefordshire’s low wages, skills, productivity and growth, and its ageing population, which it blames in part of the county’s lack of higher education opportunities.