Saracens Rugby Club has confirmed it will look into transforming Barnet Copthall Stadium into their new home.

The club will begin discussions with the London Borough of Barnet about the possibility of developing the venue into a multi-purpose sports venue and installing an artificial pitch.

Barnet Copthall Stadium is currently home to Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers amongst other sports clubs and is considered a potential training centre for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said: "There is a unique opportunity to create a fabulous stadium.

"In the process, we will create a home for Saracens, an ambitious club playing entertaining rugby in a superb stadium, an institution which will make the people of Barnet and all North London can feel proud for many years to come."

The proposals include refurbishing the existing main building to the west of the site and building a new permanent stand to the east which would be used by spectators of athletics meetings and rugby matches.

Demountable stands would be in place during the winter season to facilitate up to 16 Saracens fixtures, increasing the capacity of the ground to 10,000 to meet Premiership Rugby requirements.

Geoff Morphitis, treasurer of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers said: “This is a tremendous opportunity in these difficult financial times to refurbish a stand that is nearly 50 years old and to bring in new facilities.

"This would ensure the venue can continue to host top class athletics meetings and serve as a valuable sports facility for the local community. We look forward to working with Saracens to ensure the delivery of an outstanding sporting venue and to expand our work in the local community."

Public exhibitions are due to be held later this month for the local community to view and comment on the plans.

Posted on 09/11/2010