Football club redevelopment to get underway

A �2 MILLION project to upgrade facilities at a Suffolk football club will finally get underway next week.

Russell Claydon

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A �2 MILLION project to upgrade facilities at a Suffolk football club will finally get underway next week.

The redevelopment of AFC Sudbury's Kings Marsh Stadium will include a permanent clubhouse parallel to the main pitch as well as a number of benefits to the local community.

A final announcement on the proposals was made by club officials at a meeting held at the ground last night, to the delight of its supporters, who have waited a long time to see it become a reality.

The redeveloped clubhouse for the Southern Football League Division One Midlands outfit will contain a function room capable of seating 150 people while the first team and the reserve will be treated to new dressing rooms.

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Plans also include replacing the existing physio provisions and press facilities and offering a new catering area, club shop and gym.

The AFC Sudbury board of directors told the meeting the investment will also see the construction of The AFC Sudbury Grassroots and Community Pavilion, which will include a further four dressing rooms for football use, general sports and leisure activities.

A multi-purpose classroom will also be built which the club will use to supplement learning for AFC youths during club nights and weekends. During weekdays it is planned to be used as an educational base for local schools, voluntary groups and those with special needs. Access to the internet, educational software and other learning support will also be available.

A spokesman for the club said: “The Board recognised that football clubs of our size have to adapt to change to remain competitive and this development reflects our plans for future growth going forward.

“Today we are growing within our community at a time of economic hardship and we are excited at the new challenges we face. In addition, we believe these facilities will give AFC the opportunity to increase its commercial activities, thus helping continue to maintain the clubs exceptional financial stability and its reputation as one of the most successfully run football clubs in East Anglia.

“These facilities will be the bedrock of AFC's future going forward and the obstacles, that have been well documented and have prevented this development from happening in the past, have all been resolved.”

He added: “We are therefore immensely proud of the hard work and determination of everyone at the club to be able to make this announcement. We are delighted for all our supporters, who have been incredibly patient and understanding, our generous sponsors and for the people of the Sudbury. We believe we will deliver facilities for everyone to enjoy and be proud of, for many years to come.''

Construction work is likely to take 11 months but the club have said it will not cause any interference to AFC's first or reserve team fixtures for the 2009-10 season.