Scarborough Athletic FC are delighted to announce that our joint bid with Scarborough Borough Council for a ground development grant has been approved by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund. Adrian Morris of the Football Foundation contacted the club today to give us the good news.
Although there is obviously a lot of work still to do and hurdles to clear, we now have the green light we have been waiting for to increase capacity to just over 2,800, with the addition of a stand that will have around 340 seats and standing accommodation for 840. The project group of council officers and club officials have already met to start looking at decisions on the scope of works, the final designs, contractors and the programme of works. As part of the bidding process we have gathered a variety of quotes from both local and national companies, so we are at an advanced stage in terms of design, production and construction requirements.
We will initially be looking at some pre-construction work on the floodlights and the pitch side fence to enable the main works to begin in the close season. Planning permission has been granted for development of three sides of the ground. However, the first phase of construction will only include the seated and terraced stands on the donkey field side to the east of the stadium. Further development of additional facilities on this side and terracing on the other two sides will form future phases of the project as further funding becomes available.
For the club this is the culmination of 18 months of research and planning. Our ground improvement committee of Mick Davison, Paul Exley and Nick Finch have researched design and finance options, presenting alternatives to the board. Our aim has been to arrive at a project that hit our design objectives of more seating, and better covered viewing, at a price that is within the means of the club. Although like any project we accept that there could be construction issues and additional expense, we feel that we are prepared for these. We have been supported by Scarborough Borough Council throughout both financially as well as with design and construction advice. We are very grateful for their support and that of Adrian Morris and his colleagues at the Football Foundation, who led us through the grant bidding process, offering superb advice along the way.
As well as the Football Stadia Improvement grant of £150,000, the naming rights for the Flamingo Land Stadium will provide £100,000 and we are very grateful for this support from Scarborough Borough Council and Gordon Gibb at Flamingo Land. We are also hugely appreciative of the support of our Supporters Club for their funding of the new wheelchair spaces, not forgetting our supporters, who to date, have donated just under £20,000 towards the £290,000 project. We are also delighted to announce that convenience store One Stop, through local company Wilson Retail, have committed to a significant community donation for the cost of the seating in the new stand, a further addition to the excellent support we have received from local businesses since our return to the town. Obviously the new stands will provide further commercial opportunities for local companies to come on board and we are looking forward to developing these.
We will be releasing further information as discussions continue and decisions are made. Our fans forum in March will give member shareholders and supporters the opportunity to ask further questions about the project. As a club, we see this as part of our planned progression both on and off the field. Being a fan-owned club, we have a responsibility towards our members to grow in a prudent and responsible way that takes us to the highest level we can attain. This project is key to this goal as, by providing better facilities for our fans, we hope not only to maintain our current level of support but increase it in the future. A feature of the new development, a seated ‘family section’, will further support this goal.
We know that this exciting news will be welcomed by our supporters and we hope by others in the town as we seek to provide a facility that Scarborough can be proud of.