Stadium plans vital for club says Woking FC director

PLANS to build a new stadium are vital for Woking FC to be competitive and continue its community work, says club director Ian Nicholson.

Mr Nicholson was speaking after the publication of revised plans for an English Football League-standard stadium with associated adjacent high-rise housing.

Ian Nicholson with local resident Neil Sutton (Pictures by Len Walker)

He said the new stadium would drastically reduce maintenance costs which were “horrendous”.

“This development is critical for the future of the club.

“The stadium has been here for nearly 100 years and some of it has never changed. We have to build a stadium for another 100 years.”

Mr Nicholson said there were no plans to ground-share with a major rugby team, but the space would be versatile and other events, such as school or community sport and musical events might be considered.

“We have had musical events before, although we have no plans for that now. Whatever takes place will have strict licensing arrangements.

“The whole thing is about the community and we will continue to work with the council and local residents.”

He said several local residents who were in favour of the whole project visited the presentation at the Peacocks Centre last Friday.

WFC director Neill Morrison explains the project to Alan Taylor

He said comments that the club did not want the bigger stadium were made “with little or no information”.

“The business plan that will accompany the planning application will show how the finances will work. Having on and off-field income is critical to any football club aiming to be a professional team.”

Information about the council’s financial involvement had not been released beyond discussion by councillors until the planning application was submitted.

Cllr David Bittleston, the council leader, said: “The documents that we are publishing, which were already available to all members of the council and reflect what the council had agreed over a number of years on a cross-party basis, will hopefully allay any concerns local residents may have.”

For the full story get the 5 December edition of the News & Mail

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