Date:Monday July 23 2007
Clarets director,Brendan Flood today unveiled ambitious plans involving a £20 million modernisation of Turf Moor with additional improvements at Gawthorpe also in the pipeline. The millionaire benefactor and managing director of urban regeneration giants Modus Properties is also understood to be funding some of the project with his own money There are artist's impressions of how the revamped stadium will look on the Club's official site with detailed descriptions of the phases involved and the year they will be implemented.
In the next three years, Clarets fans will be sitting in a modern, all-seater stadium with a total capacity of about 22,000. The ground will also host a number of social events whilst providing leisure facilities.
The intention is for the club to become a sporting and enterprise hub with significant benefits for the local community.
There will be a new hotel and restaurant complex, Business Centre, multi-screen cinema, supporters' bar and a new retail sports store offering a wide range of sports goods. The 'Burnley Sports and Leisure Village' will be hosting this activity.
Burnley FC also plan to invest in a top notch Football Academy facility at Gawthorpe. There is hope of reviving the club's reputation of the 60s and 70s when it was widely accepted to have one of the best youth systems in the League.
There are to be six phases to the ambitious redevelopment progamme with some of these obviously overlapping and being progresed in parallel.
The key proposals are as follows:
- To provide a new, relocated players' dressing rooms and hospitality block at Turf Moor
- To construct a new 2,500-seat stand to replace the David Fishwick (Cricket Field) stand. This will also incorporate a new hotel, restaurant, Business Centre and cricket pavilion.
- To provide a multi-screen digital cinema as part of a new build elevation to the Bob Lord Stand.
- To provide a new, dedicated supporters' bar and restaurant.
- To provide a new, enlarged club-branded retail sports store on the approach to Turf Moor.
- To create a Burnley FC Academy at the Gawthorpe training ground in Padiham.
Brendan Flood speaking about the new venture to the Daily Mail said:
''One of the attractions of Burnley is that we have a good stadium which can be quite intimidating for away teams.
'If we can capitalise on that, make it a bit more consumer-friendly for the fans and get them to spend a bit more money, then we might win a few more games.
'Opposition teams don't like coming to Turf Moor and we've got a lot of established tradition that we can be proud of.
'But we've got to move on from that and analyse what the competition are doing and see what we can do here.
'I've looked at other clubs, such as Wigan, Bolton and Sheffield United, and seen why our location has a lot of benefits, and why we're likely to be successful with a project such as this.'
All this will be a relief to Clarets fans and it finally scotches all the rumours earlier in the season about a move away from the traditional ground into a completely new stadium. Not something fans would relish having seen the concrete, atmosphere-less grounds like the Ricoh and St Marys.
These are exciting times, all we need to do now is start performing on the pitch and reach the ultimate goal of Premiership football
Date:Monday July 23 2007
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