England: Southend stadium remains on track despite likely relegation
source: StadiumDB.com [TS]; author: Tomasz
Southend United is on the brink of dropping out of the EFL. Many fans of "The Shrimpers" fear how this situation will affect the fate of the stadium, which planning is a 15-year struggle.
Over 1,300 new apartments
After many years of complications with the acceptance of the planning applications, thirteen of which were rejected in total, now matters related to the construction of the new stadium are slowly going in the right direction. Finally, it was decided what the venue would look like and how many flats would be built at the expense of reducing commercial space.
In the first phase of the investment, the stadium to be built on Fossetts Green would have a capacity of approximately 14,000 seats, comprising the south, east and west stands. Later, a north stand would be built, at the back of which there would be affordable flats for rent, divided into two blocks with a hotel in between.
Ultimately, the stadium will have a capacity of 21,000. In total, 850 new apartments will be created, some of them will be built in the north stand and the rest in the Fossetts Farm area. Southend United also intends to convert its current facility into 502 flats following the club's move to Fossetts Farm. In this way, the city council would have a long-term source of income.
Possible relegation will not be a problem
Financing for the construction of the stadium was also secured, which will be funded by the government agency Homes England. The aforementioned agency will also grant a loan for the creation of apartments.
Unfortunately, a football team that is close to relegation from League 2 and dropping out of the English Football League for the first time in 100 years does not match the club's ambitions. Southend United are 5 points away from a safe position with 2 games left.
Ron Martin, chairman of the club, assured that the relegation would not change plans for the creation of the stadium. Martin himself will continue to support the club financially and will do whatever it takes to return to the EFL quickly. Southend City Council is also enthusiastic about the stadium's construction.
Local politicians and club officials believe that formal plans will be submitted in the next few weeks. The construction of the stadium and housing around it will represent a £500 million investment for the city and generate over 1,000 new jobs.
In addition to the stadium and the hotel, a conference centre and training facilities for footballers are planned. The Dellal family, real estate tycoons, are also interested to participate in the investment.
Author: Tomasz Sobura