THE move towards all-seater football stadiums has been a winner for

the UK construction industry which is still suffering from the

after-effects of the recession.

While Scotland and its clubs have struggled to keep up with modern

trends on the playing field, the performance as far as stadium revamping

is concerned can more than hold comparison with standards south of the


Rangers, originally employing the Taylor Woodrow construction group

and then Murray International, led the way in the 1970s when all-seated

grounds were still regarded as a continental affectation rather than the

legal requirement they have now become.

Aberdeen were not far behind and the Taylor report, sparked by the

Hillsborough Disaster in 1989, then led to a spate of construction work

at top football venues throughout Britain.

However, it was the smaller Scottish clubs which were prepared to

ignore shrinking gate money and sink millions of pounds into ground


The likes of Kilmarnock, St Johnstone, Dundee United, and Motherwell

have proved among the most forward-looking.

With the help of a Football Trust grant, Kilmarnock, for example, are

well into a #3.3m project to transform the old Rugby Park into an

all-seater stadium despite the club's still precarious status in the

Premier League.

Barr Construction is carrying out the work -- due to be finished next

year -- which will create an impressive 18,000-capacity ground.

Celtic have belatedly embarked on their own ambitious stadium plans

with Miller Construction and Hearts and Hibs now appear resigned to

never sharing premises and are busy seeing through their own separate

ground plans.

Taylor Woodrow is among the main beneficiaries, building a new stadium

for Middlesbrough football club at Middlehaven and also carrying out

major ground improvements at Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City.

The group has also recently completed work at Southampton and

Leicester City. Taylor Woodrow Construction Northern is carrying out the

work on the Middlesbrough stadium for completion for the 1995-96 season.

The #16m development is on a 132-acre site provided by Teesside

Development Corporation in Middlesbrough's docklands and will boast some

of the best-equiped facilities at any football ground in Britain.

The name of the new 30,000-capacity stadium, which will be the largest

new ground in the country, will be decided by a fans' referendum when

the club leaves Ayresome Park after 92 years.

The stadium is planned as the centre of a larger leisure and retail

development in a bid to boost local economic development.

Interest in the new stadium in the football-loving north east of

England is such that Taylor Woodrow and Middlesbrough are considering

erecting a special visitors centre and viewing platform for the hundreds

of fans who visit the site every day.

Unlike Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest are dramatically revamping

their existing home at the City Ground.

Forest is building a new #4m stand at the Trent End. Work is

progressing as scheduled with the upper tier of the stand due to open in

January 1995 and final handover timed for the start of next season.

Taylor Woodrow was also responsible for the design and construction of

the Bridgford Road End at Nottingham Forest in 1992 pleasing the club

and the then manager Brian Clough by finishing the job two weeks ahead

of schedule.

Both stands will be on view when a number of matches in the 1996

European Championships kick off at the City Ground.

In the West Midlands, there is the #4.4m development of the new Kop

and Tilton Road stands at St Andrews, home to Birmingham City.

The approach areas to the stadium are currently being rescaped. The

full cantilevered roof on two sides of the ground dovetails into the

remaining stands and now holds 25,000 spectators with the capacity for

future expansion.

As at Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City was keen

for has incorporated banqueting and entertainment facilities into the

stadium to attract local corporate hospitality.

Contracts have also successfully carried out on the erection of the

Archers Road End and Milton Road stands at Southampton Football Club in

1993/4 and the installation of new seating at Leicester City's Filbert

Street in 1994.

Taylor Woodrows' involvement in building football stadiums dates back

to 1978 when it awarded the contract to provide three new stands at

Ibrox for Rangers.

An integrated project at Crystal Palace's North End Terrace including

shops, offices, residential flats and a superstore followed in the early