Update On Main Stand Renovation
Apr 22, 2018 3459 Views

Update On Main Stand Renovation

Last week the Club held several progress meetings with architects FWP, who are overseeing the Main Stand refurbishment project on behalf of Southport FC.

First presented to our supporters in March during the Club’s Vision Launch, the Club and FWP believe that the overall refurbishment plans will significantly improve the supporter experience at the Merseyrail Community Stadium and provide a huge lift to the Club both on and off the pitch.

Due to circumstances beyond the control of both the Club and FWP, the first phase of redevelopment, the Main Stand renovation, will now run to an altered timeline.

The Board of Directors were aware when planning the refurbishment that the challenge of renovating a 50-year-old building, that has never received major renovation, could provide complications. The Club continues to embrace this challenge, and our determination to complete the project in full is unaltered.

Following extensive investigations conducted by contractors, several factors must now be taken into consideration during the renovation work.

Site surveys have revealed that the electrical substation that serves the Merseyrail Community Stadium does not have the capacity to power the refurbished stand, and this is not an issue that can be rectified by the Club, or FWP, alone.

The serving electrical company must upgrade the substation themselves, and the Club will press for this work to be completed as soon as is reasonably possible. The estimated timeline as provided by the electric company is 6-8 months. The Club will meet the cost of the substation upgrade.

Our contractors have also discovered an amount of asbestos primarily contained within the Club’s drainage system. Removal of the asbestos is expected to take around one month to complete. There are no public safety issues caused by the presence of asbestos, but the Club and contractors are required to remove this before work can continue.

As such, planned exterior work can be completed to the original schedule. Our new seats, new directors box, new press box, new Main Stand roof, new tannoy, new CCTV, new dugouts and new emergency lighting will still be installed and completed ahead of the new season.

The building’s interior structural work cannot be completed until the new substation is built. This means our new kitchen and resized dressing rooms cannot yet be completed. The exterior cladding will also not be fitted to the building until all structural work is finalised. The dressing rooms, corporate areas and bar area will, however, be refurbished and redecorated this off-season.

This additional work does mean that the total cost of the project has increased. The pledge from the Board of Directors to privately fund the reconstruction remains unchanged. All works will be completed with no debt or loans loaded onto the Club.

Both the Club and FWP remain committed to ensuring that the full stadium refurbishment becomes a reality as soon as possible.

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