A HOTEL forms part of a new North Stand being proposed for Sixways as Worcester Warriors bid to become a “top-five” Premiership club.

Life president Cecil Duckworth said co-owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring “share the ambitious vision” for Warriors which he set out to achieve in 1993.

And Duckworth revealed proposals were at an “advanced planning stage for a new North Stand with a hotel” although a full application has yet to be tabled to Wychavon District Council.

Jed McCrory was behind a consortium that bought Warriors in early October before Whittingham and Goldring were appointed as directors later that month.

Speaking to the Worcester News in February McCrory said he wanted to increase the ground’s capacity to 16,500 and had held “very positive” talks with Wychavon.

The pre-planning process is now believed to be underway as the Premiership club aim to construct a North Stand hotel and conference centre with additional seating, a standing section, hospitality boxes and a fan zone.

Duckworth who resigned from the board to become life president following the sale of the club welcomed the expansion plans in his statement published in Saturday’s programme for Warriors’ match against Saracens.

“From my point of view it is a pleasure to see that Jason and Colin share the ambitious vision for the club which I set out to achieve way back in 1993 when I first became involved,” Duckworth said.

“That was to have a strong academy developing the best local players, to have one of the best grounds with the best training facilities in the country and to be a top-five Premiership team.

“Jason and Colin share that vision and they have spent the season working hard behind the scenes, investing in the playing squad and commercial staff and improving the facilities at Sixways.

“Plans are at an advanced planning stage for a new North Stand with a hotel and a lot of work has already been done on improving the infrastructure of Sixways to make the matchday experience more enjoyable for you, our valued supporters.”

Thanks to Duckworth’s investment Worcester rose through the leagues to become a top-flight rugby club for the first time in 2004.

Warriors were put on the market by previous owners Sixways Holdings Limited in September 2017 before the sale was completed almost 12 months later.

Despite the early-season uncertainty Duckworth said the 2018-19 campaign proved to be “successful” as Worcester finished 10th and reached the knockout stages of the Premiership Cup and European Challenge Cup.

“It has been an eventful season at Sixways which started with uncertainty with regards to the ownership of the club and having a new coaching team in place,” Duckworth said.

“Ultimately both have proved to be successful.

“The ownership matter was resolved in early October and we now have got excellent owners, particularly Jason and Colin who I have worked closely with.

“We have all enjoyed some great wins, including league doubles over Leicester Tigers and Bristol and home and away successes against Stade Francais in Europe.

“But we are also aware that we have lacked consistency and that is something which has to be addressed.

“That will be the challenge going forward but we will have two important advantages next season.

“One, the uncertainty of ownership has been removed and, two, we will have a more settled and more experienced coaching team.

"They will have the benefit of several of our talented youngsters making the transition from academy to senior players.

“The likes of Ted Hill, Ollie Lawrence, Will Butler and Andrew Kitchener have all made significant progress this season and we hope that they will form the core of the first team for a long time.”