edgeley park expansion c vita

Three sides of the ground would be enhanced in the scheme. Credit: Vita

Hatters push on with Edgeley Park expansion

Increasing capacity from 11,000 to 18,000 could be the outcome of a phased redevelopment of promotion-seeking Stockport County’s home ground, with a fresh consultation now launched.

The professional team on the project includes FWP – a veteran in sports stadia – along with Asteer Planning, Vectos and Randall Thorp.

Plans for the expansion and enhancement of Edgeley Park were initially announced back in 2022, when the club, now owned by Vita Group and looking a strong bet for promotion to League One this season, introduced its initial vision and invited feedback from the local community and fans.

SCFC said that process has informed the core objectives for the expansion on these principles:

  • Create a true ‘community stadium’ with access to a wide range of spaces for the local community.
  • Create a better matchday experience for all, including more covered seating with a great view of the pitch.
  • Provide a greater range of high-quality food and drink options.
  • Improve the stadium’s accessibility for those with disabilities and additional needs.
  • Offer quick and easy routes into and away from Edgeley Park, for the benefit of fans, visitors and local residents.
  • Make Edgeley Park more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

County’s thinking is now that the initial phase would include the eastern expansion and enhancement of the historic North Stand (the Danny Bergara Stand) and East Stand, historically known as the Railway End, which has to date been uncovered.

The expanded North Stand would provide around 600 additional seats, increasing the capacity of this stand to around 2,680, while the new East Stand would see its capacity increase from 1366 up to around 4500.

The North Stand’s historic brick frontage along Hardcastle Road – a strong visual identifier for the club – would be retained and repaired.

Subject to securing planning permission, the club is looking to begin work on the North Stand eastern extension in early 2025.

Longer-term, it is envisaged that the South Stand (Together Stand) would be redeveloped to increase its capacity to around 5,500, as well as delivering new F&B and hospitality facilities. The final element would be a western extension to the North Stand, providing another 600 seats.

Ken Knott, non-executive chairman at Stockport County, said: “We are delighted to be bringing forward plans for the expansion and enhancement of Edgeley Park to create a true community stadium. We know just how much the ground means to the fans and local community; it has been at the beating heart of Stockport for over 120 years.

“Ultimately, we want to ensure that the stadium matches our level of ambition so it can continue to provide a first-rate home for the Club and the local community for many years to come.”

County intend to submit a hybrid planning application for the expansion in the next few months, following on from its consultation process. The club is also developing a travel plan.

Knott, a familiar name in the North West property scene through his work at Ask, continued: “Following our first round of consultation in 2022, we took our time to review and reflect upon the feedback we received, and we have developed our plans accordingly.

“We want to ensure our plans for Edgeley Park provide our fans with the best possible matchday experience, whilst also remaining sensitive to our neighbours and providing the people of Stockport with a range of high-quality new community spaces.

“This is a very exciting time for the club as we continue to go from strength to strength, both on and off the field. We have outlined our ambition to reach the Championship, and we have already taken great strides towards reaching this goal over the past two seasons. Ultimately, we believe that the expansion and enhancement of Edgeley Park is crucial in order to support the continued growth of the club and provide a platform for further success.”

The club occupies Edgeley Park on a 250-year long leasehold from Stockport Council. Tuesday’s cabinet meeting at the local authority saw County’s lease agreement discussed, with the proposal being that County’s rent be increased to around £88,000 per year until 2066, at which point it will revert to a peppercorn rent.

The move is to cover the council’s outlay in acquiring the ground from Brian Kennedy’s Cheshire Sport Promotions in 2015.

The second round of consultation on the plans for Edgeley Park is now under way and will remain open until Wednesday 3 April 2024. As part of the consultation, several public drop-in sessions are taking place at the stadium on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 19 March 2024, 3pm – 7pm
  • Saturday 23 March 2024, 2:30pm – 5pm (matchday event)
  • Monday 25 March 2024, 11am – 3pm

The plans can also be viewed on the club’s website.

Your Comments

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Sir Jim take note!

By Anonymous

Re anonymous at 9.53 am.
Very funny !
I think you’ve beaten a few people to the punch there.

By Peter Chapman

Jim was never knighted, even after his third spell with the club.

By Tea Party

Would be great to see Sale Sharks there again.

By Fin

Nice one, Fin. I assume you’re fishing, so I’ll bite. Sale Sharks blew their chance when they ran the place into the ground, treated County as second class citizens in the ground they’d built up over a century and then disappeared to their out-of-town transport hell. The Council has made sure they won’t be returning any time soon with the lease agreement. EP was never loved by SS fans despite that move helping them become English champions. Their loss. They can enjoy games by the Trafford Centre, we’ll continue to enjoy them in a highly accessible location with numerous food and drink outlets to frequent before and after games.

By Tea Party

Sale Sharks are in a much better location now

By Anon

Stockport County are standing on their own two feet. A strong, experienced team is now in place at Board and executive level, supported by external expertise. These are ambitious yet realisable plans for the football club.
Stockport as a town is on the up too.
Elsewhere another team wants to improve its stadium or get a new one on the back of a crafty PR campaign and lots of egos.
The County Way is the right way.

By GoGoGoCounty

As a SS season ticket holder for yonks, in hindsight, EP was far better than where we are now. Good luck SCFC.

By Sharky

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