Stevenage reveal stadium development plans
Wed 13th Apr 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Stevenage Football Club chairman, Phil Wallace, has released an artist's impression of how the proposed North Stand redevelopment could look, in order to encourage potential commercial investment to come forward and allow the development to commence.
The image shows a completely new 2,000 all-seater stand that Wallace wants to signify Boro's transition from a former non-league outfit to that of an ambitious, forward-thinking Football League club.
The club hopes construction will begin no later than 2012, but if investors get behind the project earlier then it would be a case of getting work underway as soon as possible.
The kind of investment the club needs to step forward is an application within the stand that can provide a commercial return for the club to repay the investment required - such as a medical facility, a health club, hotel or sports bar - that would be situated in the new 10,000-12,000 square feet of space that will be created on the main A602, with private car parking behind the existing East terrace already available.
"Parts of our existing stadium says 'non-league', and if you think non-league, that's where you're going to end up eventually," says Phil Wallace.
"We are in a play-off spot to go into League One at the present time and if we get into League One, what would be the point in getting there without wanting to then get into the Championship?
"We haven't got there yet but our position tells us we need to be aware that our stadium must track our progress in the league.
"I want to win the hearts and minds of the local people and hopefully attract a business that can use the space we create and provide the commercial return we need to access the funding.
"If we were sixth from bottom then this would not seem as important, but considering the league position we are in this is the perfect time to drive this project forward.
"The new development would improve the feel-good factor in the town and the football club should sit right at the heart of Stevenage and be a shining example of progressive ambition and hope."
Mr Wallace has met with Stevenage Borough Council on three occasions in the last year to discuss the project, including once alongside team manager Graham Westley, and despite the council's eagerness to support the plan, it's clear that finding a means to finance the remaining 50 per cent is proving a difficult task to solve given the cuts to central funding and the generally poor state of Britain's economy.
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