Cornish Pirates plan to expand Mennaye capacity for temporary Premiership home

Cornish Pirates Yorkshire Carnegie
Cornish Pirates crushed Yorkshire Carnegie 54-5 in the Championship Cup on Sunday at the Mennaye, which currently has a capacity of around 4,000

Cornish Pirates director Dicky Evans says the club are planning to make their Mennaye home in Penzance capable of being a temporary Premiership venue.

The plan coincides with the club confirming it has secured the land necessary for the proposed Stadium for Cornwall on the outskirts of Truro.

It is hoped the new stadium will be built by the summer of 2022.

"We're looking to put our credentials in to make this a temporary stadium for the Premiership," Evans said.

He has a three-year plan to increase the investment in the club with the aim of winning promotion to the Premiership in time for the opening of the new stadium.

"They will allow us to put a temporary stadium in here (at the Mennaye) if we are building a stadium nearby, so our project manager is working on a layout for the stadium to take 10,000 people in the future," Evans told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"We should get approval to do that, so if we do get top of the league and promoted, we can play down at the Pirates."

Stadium for Cornwall
The Stadium for Cornwall is planned for a site just off the A390 near Threemilestone on the outskirts of Truro

The Pirates have agreed to acquire the land they need for the new stadium at Langarth, just outside Threemilestone near Truro, and will allow the next phase of funding the project to go ahead.

"It's great news for the Pirates going forward," Evans said.

"It means we can go to crowdfunding and got to high net-worth individuals for some money, we haven't been able to do that without the land in place.

"What it does mean is we've got no more hurdles to cross now, we're on our own."

He continued: "The fundraising is an issue for us, we'll know more about that when we go to construction tendering in the middle of the year.

"The stadium will be ready by 2022, but we are approaching the government for some money."

Evans says the new stadium and increased investment in the squad will allow the Cornish Pirates to keep their best players in future, having seen star Fiji hooker Sam Matavesi move to Northampton last week:

"We're looking to keep our squad intact, we've got a big budget for next year and the following year, a three year plan with Chris Stirling and the team," he added.

"We're looking to really get some top-class rugby into the stadium, in fact I hope to be watching Premiership rugby at the stadium in a few years time."

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