The final stage in the development of Valley Parade began in 1999. After the opening of the Midland Road stand on Boxing Day, 1996 Geoffrey Richmond separately announced plans to expand the ground by adding a second tier to the Kop and the main stand. It seemed incredible that the club should be contemplating such a venture. Sadly it came with a huge cost.
The Kop scheme was first publicly discussed by Richmond in April, 1998 with planning permission granted the following November after negotiations had been concluded with residents of Rock Terrace. Plans for redevelopment of the main stand and the North-West Corner were announced in August, 1999 although planning permission was not granted until March, 2000.
A further planning application was made in February, 2000 for the main stand to run the full length of South Parade (including the building of new changing rooms) but this was eventually withdrawn by BCAFC. The implications of this expansion for road closures and traffic movement was considered politically unacceptable and with existing opposition within Bradford MD Council, Richmond backed down. Interestingly however, financial constraints were not declared to be a factor in his decision.
The Kop opened in August, 1999 and then the North West Corner on Boxing Day, 2000. The main stand was finally completed the following year by which time Bradford City had been relegated from the Premier League.
Valley Parade had been redeveloped with debt finance and the eventual insolvency of the club resulted in the loss of freehold ownership. BCAFC was left with a stadium that has since rarely been filled, the loss of its principal asset and a huge rental liability and that has been the backdrop of the past twenty years. The following photographs record the final redevelopment of the ground.
My thanks to Kieran Wilkinson for additional information.
Other archive images of Valley Parade from these links:
The development of Valley Parade, 1886-1908 – includes a history of the early development of the ground.
Photos of the rebuilding of Valley Parade in 1986 – Part 2
Valley Parade of today (photos taken by myself at the Stephen Darby Testimonial July, 2019)
More photos of today’s Valley Parade (photos taken by myself at the Salford City fixture in December, 2019)
Other galleries to follow with links updated from here.
The menu above provides links to other features on this website including my features in the BCAFC programme, book reviews and content about the history of Bradford City AFC.