U's new stadium name announced
COLCHESTER United's new ground will be called the Weston Homes Community Stadium.Essex-based property developer Weston Homes have secured the naming rights for the U's new home for the next 10 years.
by Carl Marston
COLCHESTER United's new ground will be called the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Essex-based property developer Weston Homes have secured the naming rights for the U's new home for the next 10 years.
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As part of the deal, which is worth up to £2million, Weston Homes will also be the official home sponsor for the coming 2008-09 season The U's will leave their old Layer Road ground this summer, to begin a new era at their new home to the north of the town, on the Cuckoo Farm site.
Although there will be no home pre-season friendlies, and the U's first couple of games of the new campaign are also earmarked for away fixtures, the Weston Homes Community Stadium will stage its first ever game in August.
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Layer Road had hosted 101 years of football, since 1907, with the U's moving there as the town's new professional club in 1937.
The new ground is located along United Way, and adjacent to the A12.
Work began in July, 2007, so making the U's dream a reality after a succession of proposals and pipedreams throughout the last 40 years or so.
Weston Homes founder and chairman, Robert Weston, revealed: "It is an honour to be announced as the sponsor of Colchester United, and we are excited to be actively involved with such a revered Football League club.
"We aim to be a big part of the Colchester community, not only through our sponsorship and support of Colchester United, but also through the social and economic initiatives we have begun to undertake.”
Sue Page, Head of Commercial Operations at the Essex club, confirmed: "Discussions have been taking place with Weston Homes over a period of time and we have quickly established a convivial relationship.
"These discussions have resulted in the club securing not only the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of the club, but also the longest.”
The U's new stadium has been taking shape over the last few months, and the first shoots of grass are now in evidence, after the pitch surface was seeded last month. Seats have now been installed in all four stands.
Meanwhile, right-back Phil Ifil could be the latest Colchester player to enjoy international recognition. Ifil, recruited from Tottenham in January, has been approached by St Lucia.
He qualifies for St Lucia through his father and one of his grandparents, as does his brother Jerel, who is on the books of Swindon Town. Club-mate Chris Coyne, who also signed for the U's in January, made his international debut for Australia in a World Cup qualifying match against Iraq in Dubai last Saturday.