One-tier stand to take Easter Road to 21,000

HIBS have revealed that the new East Stand at Easter Road will be single-tier, bringing the capacity of the ground up to just under 21,000.

The club already has planning permission, which runs until February 2010, to build a two-tier stand. They will apply to have that changed and for a building warrant to allow work to begin by that date.

A single-tier stand housing 6500 fans will be less expensive and more cost effective to run on match days but Hibs chief executive Scott Lindsay today revealed the club were still investigating how to bridge a "funding gap" caused by the escalating price of materials such as steel.

The decision to go for a single-tier structure rather than a mirror-image of the West Stand was taken following a lengthy consultation period with fans.

Lindsay said: "During the consultation process, the point was made to us many times that any new East Stand should retain the essential feel of an uncomplicated viewing area.

"Many supporters who sit in the East Terrace at present also thought that a new single-tier stand would maintain the essential character of the existing stand.

"On balance, the view was formed that a single-tier structure would best achieve this and may in fact help to enhance the atmosphere yet further within the stadium."

The amended plan will show a stand capable of housing 6500 spectators, an increase of 3300 on the existing stand.

Although the internal appearance would be noticeably different, the overall height, footprint and mass of the stand would not alter from that of the design currently approved.

Lindsay added: "Whilst these practical steps protect the club's position, no final decision has been made on when construction should commence on a new East Stand development.

"The existing planning consent is valid until February 2010 and, as stated at the recent AGM, we continue to work hard with our professional team to procure a cost-effective East Stand."

&#149 HIBS' table-topping under-19s stretched their unbeaten run to 11 matches as they strolled to a 4-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle yesterday afternoon.