AMBITIOUS plans to revamp Malvern Town’s stadium and place the club at the heart of the local community have been given the green light by planning chiefs.
The scheme will see a state-of-the-art 3G pitch installed at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium as well as new floodlights and an extension to the clubhouse to provide more changing rooms.
Club chiefs also hope to expand the number of junior, girls and women’s teams, train new and higher level coaches and attract better players to allow the first team to compete at a higher level.
As part of the ‘Project 2020’ proposals, the Langland Avenue club would also make additional improvements to both the car park and entrance to the ground as well as making the clubhouse more energy efficient.
Off the pitch it is hoped the ambitious vision for the future will allow the club to continue providing a range of activities to keep youngsters off the town’s streets as well as offering family fun days and holiday sport camps.
Club chairman Chris Pinder told the Observer the ultra modern pitch and changing rooms would deliver a venue for football fans across the district to enjoy and help keep the club’s finances onside off the field.
“Adult and junior clubs like Welland FC and Leigh and Bransford Badgers have either outgrown or are forced to overuse their grass pitch options. Clubs such as these can share the stadium in the future” he said.
“The Langland Stadium already sees a high footfall of users, especially at cup final time, but with the artificial pitch this will increase exponentially.
“These are exciting times for the club as we look to take things to the next level,” he added.
The permission, coupled with the grant of a new 25-year lease which was approved by district councillors in July, paves the way for the club to chase a £1million investment.
A £700,000 grant is now available from the Football Foundation and the club can also apply for £250,000 from the district council’s section 106 pot of cash, money developers give to councils as part of planning agreements.
The club will raise the remaining £50,000 themselves.
District councillors unanimously approved ‘Project 2020’ at a planning meeting last Wednesday (October 17).
Coun Paul Cumming, responsible for finance on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “This is an important milestone for this project which will have numerous benefits for the whole community, including encouraging greater participation in grassroots sport in line with our commitment to helping our residents be more active.”