Cheshire football club Macclesfield FC has set out the next stage of its ground improvement project, with a new building for club and community use the stand-out element.
Local firm Emery Planning is advising the club, which formed from the wound-up Macclesfield Town last year. Local businessman Robert Smethurst took control of the club, buying the Moss Rose ground – now rebranded as the Leasing.com Stadium – for around £500,000.
Plans now filed with Cheshire East Council request consent to create a new community building, carry out external cladding works to the main stand and other buildings, extend the ground’s café building to form a reception, and lay out and light the car park.
As outlined in the documents filed by Emery in late March, the stadium needs to be ready for the start of season 2021-22 and so some works have already begun.
These improvements follow on from a programme of works including the replacement of the historically problematic playing surface with a revenue-creating 4G pitch. The pitch’s replacement, along with the upgrade of floodlights, was consented in December.
Macc’s new community building is to be built within the ground’s footprint, on land previously occupied by terracing, a supporters’ bar, changing room and meeting room.
The proposal is for a “modern and multifunctional space” including two classrooms to be used by BTec Macclesfield College students, UCLan students, along with space that will be used for venue hire, community use and to house a revamped supporters’ bar for matchday use.
Emery added that the space will also support a primary-level learning project agreed between the club and AstraZeneca called Active Science.
The advisor’s planning statement concludes: “The development is fully compliant with the provisions of the development plan and the guidance of Sport England and the Football Foundation. Therefore we request that planning permission is approved.”