Northampton Saints plan to raise capacity at Franklin's Gardens

Northampton will enter negotiations with their local council over a £5m loan to fund the building of a new north stand that would turn Franklin's Gardens into a 15,500-capacity stadium.

The proposed expansion would take Franklin's Gardens above the minimum capacity requirement for staging a Heineken Cup quarter-final. The Saints board has agreed to submit a full planning application with a view to the new stand being built in summer 2015.

"This time next year we will have paid off all our debts from our previous developments," said the acting chairman, Tony Hewitt. "By building the new stand we will be ideally placed to reap the rewards of the next World Cup, which has matches being played in Milton Keynes and will see the sport's profile increase in the area."