Masterplan for Saffron Walden Town FC’s ground redevelopment unveiled

The masterplan to transform Saffron Walden Town Football Club's Catons Lane ground. The masterplan to transform Saffron Walden Town Football Club's Catons Lane ground.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
12:58 PM

Drawings have now been published of the ambitious vision to transform Saffron Walden Town Football Club’s Catons Lane ground.

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From left, Bloods chairman Martin Johnson, manager Stuart Wardley, secretary Andy Player and vice-chairman Ken Vincent.From left, Bloods chairman Martin Johnson, manager Stuart Wardley, secretary Andy Player and vice-chairman Ken Vincent.

Last month the Reporter exclusively revealed details of the club’s £1million goal to turn its home into a thriving hub for the whole community – and here is the first glimpse of the masterplan.

The first phase would be to improve and extend the existing car park, while phase two is focused on creating a new entrance to the ground. This would have new turn stiles, signage and ambulance access, and be combined with replacing the existing portacabins with a new, covered stand.

There would also be facilities for youth education, a club office, toilets, a club shop and ground store.

For phase three, the plan is for an all-weather 3G pitch to replace the existing turf pitch. The pitch will also be levelled, while a 3G grassed training area will also be introduced.

Finally, the masterplan includes a vision for a new main stand, including seating for 300 spectators, changing rooms for players and officials, club house with bar and kitchen, a small gym, meeting rooms, new flood lighting and a treatment room.

Funding for the redevelop is likely to come from a mixture of grants, with possible lottery funding and assistance from the Football Foundation.

New Bloods chairman Martin Johnson, who was elected at the club’s annual meeting last week, said: “The board believes that the masterplan can create a long-term legacy for the whole community.

“We want to get the town behind the plans, as this will be our best chance to make it a reality.”

He added: “We intend to develop a consultation process over the next few months, and refine the details, and then seek to put together a funding package to start delivering the first stages.

“We do not have a specific timeframe in mind at present, but clearly want to progress this as soon as funding allows. We would also encourage others who feel they can help to step forward.”

• At last Thursday’s pre-season game, the Bloods unveiled a memorial plaque for one of the most adored and well-known supporters in the club’s history.

Mary Buckle, who died last year at the age of 85, was a regular at Catons Lane from 1950 onwards.

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