New Stadium Update
On Weds 21st there was a open meeting at the club to present the latest developments.
Jim Scott opened the meeting and introduced Paddy Herlihy from WDC.
Paddy Herlihy (Programme Manager – Cultural Services) from WDC presented the larger picture of the whole ‘Europa Way Strategic Opportunites’ project.
Key objectives being viability and sustainability with the aim of maximising the use of each part by dual use etc. Key to allowing opportunities to be maximised has been the agreement of the route of the new spine road from the north of Europa Way to Gallows Hill and connecting with the round into the housing development south of Gallows Hill.
Space north of the planned stadium which had be allocated to a secondary school is now freed up with the sec. school planned for the northern end of what was going to be a country park on Oakley Wood Road (towards Bishops Tachbrook). Instead there will be a running track, grass pitches & dual use pavilion south of Myton school, a primary school facing on to the new spine road and special educational needs school adjacent to Round Oak school. While those grass pitches might not be available to LFC for first team grass training both WDC and LFC are looking for solutions elsewhere.
South of the stadium there are planned to be a car showroom with prime frontage on to Gallows Hill, a hotel with prime frontage on the corner of Gallows Hill and the new spine road. The revenue raised for WDC by these alone almost covers the cost of developing the stadium.
Just up from the hotel it’s planned to have a nursing home and a residential development, then a possible GP surgery and neighbourhood centre just south of the stadium.
The route through to Warwick Tech. Park is on the plan as a pedestrian walkway – but, subject to negotiation, it could be a road giving direct access for additional parking as well as an alternative access/exit for the Tech. Park.
Relocating the running track frees up land at Edmondscote to allow housing and then a riverside park linking through to Victoria Park, enhancing unused open spaces and land from the Guide Dogs home.
Russell Davis (LFC Director) then presented the activity so far and potential future progress of the stadium. There is a strong indication of interest from NHS SWFT in having space in the stadium for well being health services. This, together with the potential sports gym and physio provisions, would create a wellbeing hub. The main stadium building could then have 2 or 3 floors along with conference facilities and a sports bar. There is considerable commercial interest from businesses experienced in setting-up, running and managing these operations.
Businesses on Warwick Tech. Park have shown considerable interest in working with the club, using facilities during the week and making their parking etc available for higher attendance matches.
Russell went through the projected timescale referring to the following charts. In answer to a question from the floor both Russell and Paddy answered that the appropriate times to consult formally with LFC shareholders should be on completion of the Stadium Business Plan (March/May 2019 – RIBA stage 1) and again on completion of the detailed Technical Design (Spring/August 2020 – RIBA stage 4). Completion and hand-over are projected for April 2022 with an opening ceremony in May/June 2022.
To oversee the Stadium project there is a steering group / stadium board comprising of 3 people from WDC and 3 from LFC [see following chart of project governance structure – not shown at the meeting but put in the public domain by WDC].
It was questioned from the floor whether it would be possible for the stadium pitch to be grass and nearby pitches artificial – the response from Paddy was that an artificial stadium pitch and the associated community usage is crucial to the project going ahead.
There were also questions and discussion about bus routes, pedestrian access routes from Myton Road, gym feasibility and the possibility of staging concerts – which is currently not preferable due to the impact on the artificial surface.
Click on the following link to view proposals and recommendations being considered by the Executive Committee of Warwick District Council at the Town Hall on 28 November: https://estates4.warwickdc.gov.uk/cmis/MeetingDates/tabid/149/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/637/Meeting/3834/Committee/29/Default.aspx.
These notes were taken from the floor of the meeting – there is an official report of the meeting on the Club’s official site here: https://www.leamingtonfc.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article/11-news2/916-open-meeting-re-stadium-project?Itemid=355.