It’s been busy on site in recent weeks. You will have seen from recent social media posts that the seats were installed in the main stand. They look really fantastic and finish off the aesthetic look of the exterior of the stand. In addition;
Stadium Solutions have been on site completing the snagging list, there are also a couple of more significant structural elements including the installation of the main staircases and external doors to happen in the coming weeks.
We’re currently getting quotes to complete the Tarmac. Once the surface layer of Tarmac is laid, the perimeter fencing can be installed to secure the stadium.
Amenity lighting has now been completed and we are awaiting a connection date from UKPN to then proceed with a temporary mains supply whilst the internal fit goes ahead.
The irrigation system, which has been much needed recently is up and running again, keeping the pitch lush and green.
We had a working party of volunteers last month who enjoyed, probably the hottest day of the year, cutting back the overgrown grass, and having a general tidy up of the site. A massive thank you to everyone involved, you know who you are. Keep a look out for the next date.
So where now?
With regards to the project as a whole. It’s fair to say that the Stadium build has been hampered by several issues, not least the Global pandemic which set us back a long way in terms of availability of workers, suppliers and materials. As the world got back to normal the prices of everything shot up, you’ll have all felt this in your own pockets too. We’ve also had our fair share of red tape to comply with. Thankfully there is now light at the end of the tunnel and we can start to put a realistic timeline together that we believe will get us into the stadium and enjoy watching our teams in our own home, subject to any further external factors.
We are now working at a pace to finish the elements we need to complete, in order to meet planning conditions, building regulations and of course the all important FA Ground Grading. Our new stadium will need to be ground graded before we can start playing there and up until recently this has been down to the leagues. However, this is being overhauled and will be carried out by the Football Association from this season. The FA will soon have a system to make the process much easier for themselves and all clubs going forward. This does mean revisiting all 900+ clubs in the UK throughout next season. We have proactively opened a conversation with the FA ground grading committee to start this process before the internal fit out is even complete.
Once we have met these requirements, we will be able to progress with the internal fit out of the two floors of the main stand. The ground floor will serve as a hub for all fans and players with incredible changing facilities for home and away teams, plus the officials along with the all important main bar, function room and the club shop. Whilst upstairs will feature our Hospitality suite, boardroom, executive boxes and an education room for our players and the local community. It’s a big project which is likely to take many months to fully complete.
Perfection takes time and the delays we have experienced in being able to start the internal fit out means a conservative estimate would see us not being able to hold a full official opening until prior to the 2024/25 season.
Therefore, we must progress getting the stadium to a position where we can safely and comfortably play and watch football ahead of the final completion. This would mean installing portable changing rooms and creating an awesome Fan zone where we can supply food, drinks, toilet facilities and shelter. The Terraces and main stand would all be available for spectating, but the inside of the Main stand would not be accessible. In this scenario, we could potentially be enjoying football at our home before Christmas, subject to Ground Grading and health & safety sign off.
The vision of the board has always been that we wanted the stadium completely finished before opening. However, we are also mindful that by opening earlier than anticipated, we can start to grow the club both financially and in stature. We began this project to get us back up the league structure and the sooner we start doing that, the sooner we can achieve our goals.
Opening early will allow all of us to start enjoying the satisfaction of watching our teams in our very own stadium, knowing that there are exciting future developments down the road, as we continue to grow the business side of the club and introduce new facilities while we continue our journey. As we progress over the next few months we will have a better idea of what is the more realistic option.
Thank you for your patience, it’s been a frustrating period for us all and after a long fight we are close to achieving this amazing comeback.
Finally, The Board and Club Officials would also like to put on record our thanks to Satchell Family, various donors, sponsors, the Supporters Trust and of course our Cambridge City family, staff and volunteers. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your support. We have no doubt there is a very bright future for this Football club and everyone is working as hard as possible to ensure that we bring you a new home, as soon as we can.