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Building award for Caterpillar Stand at Welford Road

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The design of the 10,000-seat Caterpillar Stand at the home of Guinness Premiership champions Leicester Tigers has been recognised with a Building Excellence award.

The LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Awards celebrate excellence in building standards, technical innovation and sustainable designs, and the East Midlands awards ceremony in Derby evening attracted entries in 13 categories.

Opened at the start of the 2009/10 season and taking capacity at Welford Road to 24,000, the Caterpillar Stand was announced as the LABC winner in the category for Best Technical Design.

The stand was also a finalist for Best Technical Design and Innovation, and Best Large Development.

Leicester Tigers managing director, David Clayton, said: ““The decision to replace a 90-year-old stand at Welford Road with the new Caterpillar Stand was a major one for the club and we’ve had excellent feedback about the facilities in the new stand.

“Architects AFL, contractors Galliford Try and the project managers from FWP did an excellent job in terms of the design and construction within a very tight deadline and we know the new stand has made a big impression on our own supporters as well as those from visiting clubs and all of our other visitors to the stadium.

“We are attracting fresh interest in terms of conference and events bookings for everything from meetings and exhibitions, and it is this versatility that we had in mind when we first sat down with the architects to discuss the redevelopment of Welford Road stadium.

“The LABC judging panel were impressed with the versatility of the Caterpillar Stand design and the energy-saving initiatives built into it.”

The Caterpillar Stand includes VIP seating for 1,000 on a matchday, with hospitality guests entertained in the Premiership Suite, as well as the Final Whistle public bar which has become the main meeting place for Leicester Tigers supporters before and after the game.

The versatility of the design allows the Premiership Suite to be used as one, two or three rooms, served by their own bars and kitchens.

The Caterpillar Stand was officially opened with the historic match against world champions South Africa in November, which Tigers won 22-17.