Sport

Towners reveal plans for expanding QE2 Stadium

Andrew Warshaw speaks to Enfield Town FC chiefs about the football club’s future plans

QE2 Stadium, a listed building
QE2 Stadium, a listed building, is currently too small to meet the ambitions of Enfield Town FC

As they drive towards their goal of reaching step two of the non-league pyramid – National League South – Enfield Town FC are exploring the possibility of expanding their home ground.

The proposed new facilities would provide improved matchday facilities, additional classrooms for the club’s burgeoning academy and a centre for community activities.

The club has made great strides since its formation 22 years ago, but remains fully aware that the infrastructure at QE2 Stadium needs to support the ambition of playing at the highest sustainable level.

The first step has been to commission property consultants Pellings to provide drawings for a prospective new facility to complement the current clubhouse, which is a listed building. If approved, the new structure will be sited in an area adjacent to the turnstiles and behind the current cabins used by the academy. It is anticipated to include an enlarged clubhouse, enabling the current one to used for as-yet undecided alternative purposes.

Towners chairman Paul Reed says: “It essential for our future success that we align our growth both on and off the pitch.

“Given the progress of our football and community activities it is vital that we have the right infrastructure in place to support the development of our club moving forward.

“With aspirations for our first team to be playing at step two and with a thriving education programme, youth, ladies and community development sections, we feel that now is the right time for new facilities to enable the club to continue to thrive.”

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Pellings’ support has extended to sponsoring the club’s community sports development-run specialised coaching sessions for children with disabilities who are specifically recommended by the NHS. The firm is also sponsoring the home game against Carshalton on 28th January.

Mark Brown, managing director of Pellings, says: “We are extremely proud to have had the opportunity to support such a fantastic charity and to work with Enfield Town Football Club.”

Asked more about the club’s long-term plans, Paul Millington, Town’s vice-chairman and trustee of Enfield’s community sports development, told the Dispatch: “It’s early days and we obviously need to look at how to finance the project. But it’s potentially a hugely exciting development and shows how ambitious we are.

“Pellings’ involvement has been hugely helpful, as is their support for our disability sessions. Providing the opportunity for children of all abilities to enjoy the game is so important. We have seen at first hand the benefits these sessions have.”

Local councillors have also praised the work the club is doing in the community. Ayten Guzel, who represents Southbury ward where QE2 Stadium is situated, said: “I am proud to have the UK’s first fan-owned football club in my ward, and I am pleased that they are looking for ways to contribute to the community and make the club more sustainable.

“Grassroots sports are valued and supported in Enfield – they provide great opportunities for our residents to come together and stay active.”

Fellow Southbury councillor Mahmut Aksanoglu added: “We are actively involved with the club and have a great working relationship with them. We will continue to work with the club in their future plans.”

The importance of the club’s work with children with disabilities cannot be over-emphasised according to Tony Gibbs, a regular Town fan who acts as the liaison link between the parents, the club and the NHS at three six-week sessions per year staged at the club’s 3G training pitch. “I’d never been involved in anything like this before, but I thrive on it,” Tony, who turns 80 next month, told the Dispatch.

“When you are doing voluntary work, it’s so rewarding. You get back far more than you are able to give. It’s extremely positive not just for the children but also the adults and carers.”

The club will be revealing more about its plans at its AGM for members on Thursday, 2nd February at 7.30pm. Membership is open to all supporters and can be purchased on the night. For more information:
Visit
etfc.london/exciting-expansion-plans


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