sport

Saints get stadium go-ahead

Northampton Saints have been given the go ahead to expand their home ground at Franklin's Gardens.

The side, who are currently second in the Aviva Premiership, have had their plans to build a new North Stand approved by Northampton Borough Council. The development will see the stadiums' capacity increase 20 percent to 15,500.

Saints chairman Tony Hewitt believes that the expansion will help take the club to new levels of sustainability and success.

"The additional capacity gives more people...the opportunity to watch some of the best players in England play rugby, while the growth in revenues will allow us to increase our re-investment into the playing squad and maintain the recent levels of success we have enjoyed," Hewitt said.

The Saints have been one of the most consistent clubs in recent years, having reached six finals in successive seasons including the Heineken Cup final in 2011 and the 2013 Aviva Premiership finals.

In addition to their promising Premiership position, Northampton are also in the knock-out stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup and LV Cup.

The new North Stand is expected to be built during the summer of 2015.