Ecotricity brings M5 eco park back to the planning table

Ecotricity’s Eco Park

Stroud-based green energy supplier Ecotricity has revisited plans for its long-awaited Eco Park development alongside its the new wooden stadium e for Forest Green Rovers, next to Junction 13 of the M5 motorway in Gloucestershire.

The revisited plan includes the all-wooden 5000 seat stadium for FGR – approved in December 2019 and the use of land on both sides of the A419 to include a green tech business park. The site will feature 38,000 sq metres of office space and 18,000 sq metres of industrial space, designed to host companies working in the zero carbon economy.

The development will contribute around £150 million to the local economy annually, says Ecotricity, while generating £2 million per year in business rates for Stroud District Council.

The full plan, aligns with proposed changes to the local plan, and the district council and Gfirst LEP’s intention to bring green industries and knowledge-intensive sectors into the M5 growth zone.

Ecotricity will also build a comprehensive new training facility at Eco Park for Forest Green Rovers. This would bring training back into the district for the first time since the club went professional – because of a lack of facilities in the area.

The new training complex will bring together the youth, academy, women’s and first team together, and has already secured the backing of Forest Green Rover’s partner, Candriam – the global leader in sustainable investing.

Subject to planning approval, Ecotricity hopes to begin work on initial training facilities this spring.

The site is also expected to self-generate over 80 per cent of all energy used.

Ahead of forthcoming construction work, an extensive archaeological survey and dig has begun on the site. Expected to take 3 to 4 months – the dig will look for Roman artefacts.

Dale Vince, Founder of Ecotricity, and Chairman of Forest Green Rovers, said: “It’s taken a long time to get here, but Eco Park and the local plan are now aligned and we are measurably closer to being able to start work.

“With Eco Park we’ll be able to properly push the boundaries of sustainable development. The beating green heart of this project will be the lowest carbon football stadium in the world ever, at least since the Roman’s invented concrete – which is fitting given we’ve got Roman remains on the site.

“We’re hoping to get to work on training facilities in the next couple of months – and ultimately create a fantastic facility for all elements of the FGR football family to train together.”