U's reveal stadium improvements

NEWLY-promoted Colchester United have been given the go-ahead for improvements to their Layer Road ground next season, which could see up to 200 more seats installed.

By Derek Davis

NEWLY-promoted Colchester United have been given the go-ahead for improvements to their Layer Road ground next season, which could see up to 200 more seats installed.

The Football Licensing Authority has approved plans to utilise a section of the ground between the Barside and Layer Road, which is set to provide a much-needed capacity boost.

The new seats would be used by away fans and allow the whole of the Tamdown Stand, also known as the Clock End, to be used by U's fans alone.


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An engineer will put forward the final drawings next week to ascertain exactly how many extra seats will be fitted to the ground that can only hold less than 6,000 supporters at the moment.

The Championship-bound U's can expect to play in front of capacity crowds in virtually all the home games next season, especially with local rivals Southend, Norwich City and Ipswich Town, due to visit.

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The U's are also close to announcing season ticket prices and they could go on sale as early as next Thursday.

U's chief executive Marie Partner told the club's website: “We are very conscious of the fact that we will be expecting full capacity from most of our visiting teams.

“But we are also very aware that we wanted to give our fans maximum opportunity to attend games and, more importantly, to give them the best chance of doing so in the areas they are used to sitting or standing.”

Further plans to increase the capacity even more are being considered and there are moves to improve the general facilities too, although these would still need to meet approval from the Football Licensing Authority, Trading Standards and the Football League.

Ms Partner said there would be no large-scale movement of home fans in the Layer Road stadium as part of any changes

The U's could be stuck at Layer Road for at least a season and a half, with the new Community Stadium not expected to be ready until 2008.

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