Published: 16:04, 17 March 2017 |
Updated: 16:16, 17 March 2017
The redevelopment of the home of Ebbsfleet United is set to continue this summer.
Club officials want to make major changes to all four sides of Stonebridge Road and work on a new main stand to replace the Liam Daish stand began in January last year.
That piece of the puzzle is almost complete and next up is the Plough End, which has been earmarked for a new stand for 1,750 supporters and an integrated hotel featuring 55 rooms.
Gravesham council has already granted outline planning permission for each side of the stadium, and the club hopes its detailed proposal for Plough End will be approved in May for work to begin in June.
Vice-chairman Peter Varney said: “For a long time Ebbsfleet was massively loss-making and was about to go extinct before Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi came in.
“He bought the ground from Gravesham council and wants each part of the ground to be making revenue.”
The stand’s 1,750 capacity would be all-standing but will be suitable for conversion and the hotel will feature a publicly accessible restaurant and bar, which could be used on match days.
New turnstiles and an access gate will be moved further inside the site and parking, a pick-up/drop-off point, and a cycle store are also to be located in that area.
Mr Varney continued: “The whole thing has been designed as an all seater stadium for the end game, which is getting into the Football League.
“The hardest part of this is balancing what you do on the field with the new facilities.
“Ebbsfleet International is badly served by hotels, the nearest one is at the Dartford Bridge, and the demand is increasing when you consider the theme park and things like that
“We want to have a club that is inclusive for all and a team that is producing, while ensuring we don’t let it get into the position that it did a few years ago. There was £600,000 of debt when we came in.
“We would like to make the ground available for conferences and events, but as we own the stadium all of the income goes straight into the club and the team.”
If work does begin in June, the club are aiming for it to be complete in April 2018. The next stand on the agenda is the Swanscombe End, with details to be confirmed at a later stage.
The Fleet sit second in the National League South and are aiming to ply their trade in the National League next season.
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