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Carlisle United announce new stadium plans

Fri 18th Nov 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Carlisle United have announced they are to relocate to a new stadium following the results of a feasibility study found that re-developing their current ground could cost the club in the region of £18m

The club’s Board will now look into the options available for the club's future development and location, and are to exhibit the results for supporter input on 24 November 2011 at Brunton Park.

Commenting on the study, Carlisle managing director, John Nixon said: "We have long had aspirations of playing Championship football and we believe it is within our reach. However, the basic ground requirement at that level is to have an all-seater stadium within three years of promotion.

"We would also need additional Press and Media facilities and costly improvements to our floodlighting. The Football League regulations, released in 2009, stipulated minimum ground standards which we are currently struggling to meet within Brunton Park. The Board would be doing a disservice to the fans if we didn't look into the future options for the club and report back to them for their input."

The brief for FWP, who carried out the study, was to review the re-modelling of Brunton Park as a phased redevelopment project which would allow the stadium to comply with all aspects of the Taylor Report, and with the requirements of a venue capable of hosting Championship football. The Carlisle United Board also advised that any scheme should not place financial duress on the club, and be self-funded.

The study was carried out in three phases, with phase one conducted between August 2010 and January 2011. The investigation defined a phased programme for each of the four stands at Brunton Park. The finished product would both improve and modernise spectator facilities and also add income generating areas, conference and banqueting space and lettable areas.

However, the total cost for the redevelopment of Brunton Park would be in excess of £18m which the club felt that if this route were pursued achieving and maintaining Championship football would be highly unlikely, and would also saddle the club with extensive debt. FWP also advised that the flood prevention measures installed following the 2005 floods placed restrictions on expansion of the stadium.

Phase one also explored the possibility of a stadium relocation as an option, should redevelopment of Brunton Park be unviable. FWP identified a list of 17 sites within the locality which could be further explored. FWP advised that in order to progress the chosen site would need to provide the opportunity for an 'enabling' development to fund the new stadium construction.

The 17 sites have since been refined to the most viable options. Each site was evaluated and reviewed with enablement and accessibility being the key components.

In the final phase of the study the options were assessed under a number of criteria, including planning, special site specific factors and financial viability.

In conclusion the study recommended that discussions should be progressed with Kingmoor Park. This option would provide the best opportunity for an 'enabling' development, subject to planning permission being obtained, and provide an ideal development partner with appropriate financial backing.

The club expect the build a 12,000 all-seater stadium with up to date training and playing facilities alongside offices and conference suites to meet all possible match day and corporate non-match day requirements if the Kingmoor Park site is chosen.

Carlisle United are now seeking the backing of their supporters in order to progress the discussions with Kingmoor Park to develop the idea further, looking at the design and viability of the new stadium and associated development.

 

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