This scheme is expected to give The U’s financial stability and establish them as a Championship side. But first each of the planned three phases has to be delivered.
It’s a grand plan they’ve been talking about for a while and this week presented renderings of. Divided into three phases, the planned redevelopment of Abbey Road will be possible thanks to Grosvenor, developer who currently owns the plot underneath the current stadium.
First phase will see new north stand built, accommodating 3,500 standing supporters. It will also have roof conjoined with a vast building behind it, one to hold ticket offices, club store, community facilities and more. This phase is to be delivered by Grosvenor themselves, as soon as the company has planning permission approved.
Second phase focuses in the west. Current Habbin Stand would be torn down and replaced by a very distinctive new structure, seating 3,000 people. This side will have conference facilities added, facing the picturesque Barnwell Lake. Up to 300 diners or 400 delegates could be seated here.
These facilities should bring annual revenue up by £1 million (or 25%), enabling the club to finance (or co-finance) changes of the eastern main grandstand. Its seating layout would be improved, while to upper levels added. One with new boardroom, director’s lounge, supporters bar, hospitality suites and community spaces. The other – with private skyboxes. This improved structure would receive a fresh cantilevered roof.
Only the south stand will be left untouched, having been only built in 2002. Altogether capacity will grow above the 11,000-mark, of which 9,500 will be built from scratch.