North Stand work restarts as Stevenage FC chairman reveals hopes for investment
- Credit: Archant
Stevenage FC have confirmed that the long-awaited work on the new North Stand has restarted.
Work started yesterday to lay the foundations for the 1,428 all-seater stand, with the football club hopeful that it will be open to fans in August or September.
On Friday, power was switched to the newly-installed substation which allowed work to restart.
The project ground to a halt last June after it was discovered that UK Power Networks the lease for a substation on the site – dating back to 1962.
Although the 21-year lease expired in 1983, UK Power Networks insisted that it still has certain rights over the land.
Plans for the stand were made a reality when Boro supporters raised £600,000 through a mini-bond scheme set up by Tifosy.
But, in his programme notes from Saturday’s game against Northampton Town, Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said: “The delay has cost us a lot of money in various ways and we need to address that shortly.”
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Today, in an official statement posted on the League Two side’s website, Mr Wallace confirmed that he is open to outside investment to take the club to the next level.
“I have been here 20 years this summer and, when we finish the North Stand this year, I will have fulfilled most of my personal infrastructure ambitions for the club.
“I have no intention of leaving just yet, but I would much rather enjoy some years of Stevenage being a bigger spending club, attracting new supporters and aiming for the Championship. To do that, we need additional funding.”
Mr Wallace saved the club from liquidation when he arrived in 1999. Since then, he has helped make Stevenage a Football League club, built a new training ground at Bragbury End and develop a successful academy that has produced players such as Ben Wilmot – the club’s first £1 million sale when he joined Watford last summer.
“To compete seriously at the top of League Two would require an additional £1 million per year on top of the playing budget,” he continued.
“We are an attractive proposition. We are 20 minutes from London, we made a decent profit last year, we have a modern stadium and some great young players coming through that could be very valuable.
“Whether we sell 10 per cent or a bigger stake depends on who it is and what their plans are.”