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Ebbsfleet United to raise capacity of the Swanscombe End to around 2,500

By Steve Tervet

Work to treble the capacity at one end of Ebbsfleet’s home ground is due to begin in less than five weeks.

Fleet need to bring total capacity at their Kuflink Stadium from 3,134 up to 4,000 by March 31 to meet National League ground grading regulations.

Originally the club had planned to demolish the Plough End in the early part of the season to make way for a new stand and hotel at the southern part of the ground.

The Swanscombe End terracing Picture Barry Goodwin

The Swanscombe End terracing Picture: Barry Goodwin

But vice-chairman Peter Varney this week revealed: “We’re going to refurbish the Swanscombe End after Christmas.

“At the moment it’s 759 (capacity on safety grounds) but we’re going to take it up to about 2,500 by completely renovating the terracing with new crash barriers and new exits.

“It’s aborted money because we intend to put a new stand up there but if we don’t do it, we run the risk of not meeting the criteria.

“When Maidstone or Chelmsford have come here (in play-off finals), it looks a third empty so that’s our only possibility of taking it forward. We start on January 8.”

Work at the Swanscombe End is going to cost the club £200,000 and Mr Varney thanked owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi for funding what is essentially a short-term fix.

He said: “As ever, he’s very supportive of the club and this is a great gesture.

“We’re trying to build a club as well as a team.

“There’s no problem spending £200,000 on players for clubs – I know it doesn’t happen to that extent but it could do – but we’re spending £200,000 on additional spectator comfort on a stand we know we’re going to knock down in the not-too-distant future, probably 18 months.

“It’s not a rethink, it’s more about how we programme all this to work.

“Here we are trying to spend millions on making spectators more comfortable but we’ve got to have one eye on complying with the numbers.”

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