Cambridge United Reach Abbey Stadium Redevelopment Agreement
Cambridge United and Cambridge United Supporters Club have reached agreement on a land deal regarding the potential future redevelopment of the Abbey Stadium site, which would include a new Supporters Club building.
This follows a meeting between the club’s Working Group and the Supporters Club Committee. An EGM will now be held on 2 November for a membership vote to ratify the proposal.
The main pillars of the agreement are as follows:
– The Football Club will build a new Supporters Club at an estimated cost of £1.5m. The Supporters Club will retain the freehold.
– Once the new Supporters Club has been built and is open, the existing Supporters Club building will be demolished. This sequencing ensures there will be no interruption of service to supporters and the community.
– In return, the Supporters Club will gift the Football Club land to enable the redevelopment of the NRE.
– The Supporters Club will retain the freehold on their land at the front of the Abbey Stadium site but will grant the Football Club a 999-year land lease on a peppercorn rent for as long as the Club owns the Abbey Stadium.
– The Club will grant the Supporters Club all necessary access right guarantees from its land.
– The Football Club will put in one planning application for the whole redevelopment plan for the site including the new Supporters Club building and both redeveloped Newmarket Road End and Habbin Stands.
Paul Barry, Majority Owner, said: “This agreement comes after a lot of hard work on both sides and I would like to thank Paul Mayes and Jim Hardingham, in particular, for the constructive way they have led the negotiations from the Supporters Club in recent times.
“It is potentially a very big step forward for Cambridge United as it unlocks the opportunity to develop, modernise, increase the capacity of the Abbey Stadium and improve what we offer for all our supporters. This is vital to our progression as a football club.
“In any negotiation, both sides have to make concessions but we have both done so having the same collective interest at heart – the future of the club, and the wider role it plays as a community asset. We all hope that it will have the full support of members at the EGM and that we can move forward as One Club, United in Endeavour.
“At the same time, it is also important to manage expectations. Whilst this is a key step forward which allows us to move to the next stage of planning, pricing and designing the project, a lot of hard work and multiple challenges lie ahead.
“We all recognise that fans are keen to see our plans for the future of the Abbey. All being well, we should be in a position to share these and say more about the timetable and plan going forward in the New Year.”
Paul Mayes, Trustee of the Supporters Club, added: “Firstly I would like to thank Paul Barry, Godric Smith, Alex Tunbridge and the club’s development working group, including Richard Arnold and the stadium design architects for our very cordial discussions.
“Myself and Jim Hardingham have been in negotiations with the club to move forward together and take this exciting redevelopment of the Abbey Stadium to the wider community. Each party has made concessions and although there are still very challenging times ahead, we are confident about moving forward together.
“We thank Paul Barry and his fellow colleagues for their continued commitment and enthusiasm to collectively move the club forward.
“We are all looking forward to fantastic times ahead with new stadium facilities and supporters club.”