Bristol City FC have moved a step closer to revamping their Ashton Gate stadium after planners recommended the proposals for approval.

The club is looking to increase the capacity of their home from 21,500 to 27,000 in a project costing £40 million. That is just one of the options open to club officials as there is also the possibility of building a completely new £60 million stadium at a site in Aston Vale. The redevelopment of Ashton Gate would involve replacing the Williams and Wedlock stands to boost capacity.

Bristol City Council's planning committee will vote on the proposals later in the month (November 27th) but if approved the club said that they would phase the work in over the next three years. Had the England 2018 World Cup bid been successful it would have seen matches played in a purpose-built 44,000-seater stadium. England lost out on the tournament to Russia which meant shelving plans for a new ground in Bristol.

However, the much more modest expansion of Ashton Gate is seen as the next logical step for Bristol City. Alongside the extension the club will also be creating a new conference, exhibition and entertainment centre for the city.

A spokesman for Bristol Sport Limited said: “The redevelopment of Ashton Gate would be a major catalyst for South Bristol in generating a significant number of full and part-time jobs during construction and on completion, thanks to the significant investment of private funds.

"The project will also deliver massively improved facilities for Bristol City Community Trust’s work with youth groups, schoolchildren and the local community."

On the pitch it has been a disappointing start to the League One season for Bristol City. The club, which were relegated from the Championship in the 2012/13 season, currently lie in 19th and are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference. However, the Robins are still in the FA Cup and face non-league Tamworth in the second round next month.

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