Boreham Wood Football Club Chairman Danny Hunter, has spoken for the first time of his pride at seeing the clubs application to build a new 726 seat West Stand, approved not only by Hertsmere Borough Council but also approved by the Football Foundation through the Stadia Improvement Fund process.
He Said “The New West Stand and associated facilities will cost in the region of six hundred thousand pounds. It will go the full length of our Meadow Park pitch and it will give the club an overall seating capacity of 1,226 seats. It will also go a long way to achieving an A graded ground fit for Conference National Football and it is vital to our growth and health as it will replace the old Asbestos clad West Terrace that was in urgent need of replacing”.
“With the tender process now coming to an end, work will begin very quickly to demolish the West Terrace perhaps as early as July, 15th and we will then begin the build and expect completion of the stand in late October or early November 2013. Our ground at Meadow Park is already utilised all year round, as it is the home to our very successful Arsenal Ladies team, who play during the summer in the relatively new Women’s Super League. Our facilities are now shown each season on national TV and throughout Europe as the Ladies are rightly recognised, as the most successful Ladies team in the country..
Their games are regularly televised and they are a regular participant in the Ladies European Champions league. A Trophy they won at Meadow park in 2007, in front of over 3,500 fans and are still the only English women’s side to do so. As such a stadium with enough seats to deal with the community interest was essential”..
Mr Hunter went on “When you set out at the beginning of a project of this size, there are always obstacles to overcome, monies to raise, architects to hire, meetings to attend and many concerns from a number of people to alleviate. That is all part of the process but from the start, i always thought the project had substance and felt it would stand up to scrutiny. You obviously worry when experts begin to look at the detail in earnest, that they will find fault. Luckily though they unanimously agreed with my vision for the club and approved the project on its merits and I’m very grateful. It was no good just me thinking this project worked well but in reality the stand stood no chance of getting through planning or the Football Foundations application process”..
“So it became a total collaboration of very good advice that was taken on board, good ideas encompassed and a process that made the project not only an even better looking stand but more cost effective. I was very fortunate in the early stages to have the support in principle of the Local Council, the Football Foundation, the Conference League, the Women’s Super League and of course Arsenal Football Club. That gave me the confidence to move ahead and as I enter my 15th year as Chairman, the club is thankful it has built so many good relationships with the individuals and organisations mentioned. They trust that we will do as we say, we have already shown that the money to build the stand is all in place and they know that this new 726 West Stand will enhance our Club, will enhance the Ladies game, will enhance the League that we play in and it will be a fantastic asset for all of our football loving community”.. Hunter concluded.
Arsenal Ladies General Manager Vic Akers OBE, who was the most successful Manager in English Ladies football, had this to say: “Everyone involved with the Arsenal Ladies is delighted that Boreham Wood FC are able to go ahead with their plans for the new West Stand. Our games at Meadow Park are attracting ever increasing crowds and it’s great news that we’ll have the facilities here to accommodate the growing numbers. We have an excellent relationship with Boreham Wood FC and I believe that in Meadow Park, we have the best facilities on offer in the women’s game in the UK.”
Arsenal company secretary David Miles who was also involved with discussions with the BWFC Chairman about the stand and Arsenal’s part investment he said, “We’re extremely pleased that Boreham Wood FC’s plans for the new West Stand have been successful. Meadow Park has served as an excellent home to the Arsenal Ladies team for many years now, and to our Reserves before that. The New Stand will enhance our supporters’ match day experience and help improve what is already an impressive facility.”
Peter McCormick, FSIF Chairman, said: “I am delighted that my colleagues and I have been able to award this grant to Boreham Wood Football Club to allow them to develop a new West Stand at their Meadow Park ground.
“FSIF staff work hard to make sure that the funding that is generously provided by the Premier League each year goes as far as possible and benefits as many clubs and supporters as it possibly can.”
Hertsmere Borough Council Leader Morris Bright commented: “Hertsmere Borough Council has a long-established and treasured relationship with Boreham wood Football Club and fully understands the work it does for the young in our community. We are delighted to be able to support this project for the Club. The council’s contribution of £70,000 reinforces our belief that with this type of additional support the club will continue to go from strength to strength and likewise our local communities also. We are proud to be involved with this latest project and look forward to seeing the West Stand built and full of supporters.”
The FSIF is Funded with £6m each year from the Premier League and is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.