Portsmouth Milton End redevelopment boost as Fratton Park £11.5m project well ahead of schedule

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That represents Phase Three of a programme which initially focused on North Stand Upper and Lower.

Work on the Milton End was scheduled to begin in May 2023 – with a summer 2024 completion.

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However, such has been considerable progress elsewhere at Fratton Park, that will now commence in October.

And, potentially, the Milton End could be completed by early 2024

Steve Cripps, managing of PMC Construction, told The News: ‘We are ahead of schedule, so are probably drifting into the Milton End in October.

‘There’s quite complicated civil engineering work needed on the ends, we have to cut a section of roof back and gut out that whole south-east corner.

Scheduled work on the Milton End has been brought forward to October 2022. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘We’ll excavate that area, complete the zone for some toilets, then there’s a new media suite and first-aid room in that corner.

‘It will be a slow start, then we’ll gain momentum. You’ll be looking at somewhere between 12 and 18 months.

‘We never thought we’d have completed the other sections by around October time, so we’re ahead of the programme. It makes sense to carry on.

‘If things go in our favour, we will probably be out by Christmas 2023, but, failing that, we will drift into early 2024.

Work is continuing on the South Stand before attention turns to the Milton End from October. Picture: Michael Woods/Solent Sky Services

‘The stand has a maximum use of 2,000. It currently has 3,200 seats, so it will be restricted to 1,600 seats, which is a net loss of 400.

‘However, there aren’t many times when the stand is fully loaded in League One, whereas in the Championship it’s a different ball game.

‘So the aim is to get it ready and hope we end up in the Championship with a stand which can be fully loaded to 3,200.’

Work on the Milton End will inevitably impact upon capacity in an area of Fratton Park largely used by away supporters.

And with no season-ticket holders present, none will require relocating temporarily – unlike other areas.

Chief executive Andy Cullen added: ‘Work on the Milton End will start in October, with the remainder – and bulk of it – to be completed as soon as the last game of the 2022-23 season is over.

‘It will also give us the maximum amount of time. What we don’t want is to impact upon capacity in a big way for the start of the following season.

‘The difference with the Milton End is we don’t have any season ticket holders in there – and our big challenge last year was reseating 1,200 of them.

‘We allocate the away seats game-by-game, so it’s much easier for us to manage.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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