Keep a close eye for updates...
The Club aim to create a state of the art modern sport and leisure stadium at Fossett’s Farm in the heart of south Essex.
There has never been a better period to advance the Club’s plans. The original approval in 2008 was thwarted by the Banking Crisis (Sept 2008) following which the Club had to some extent tread water whilst Sainsbury’s progressed their plans. We have since needed to rethink the development of Roots Hall as a result Sainsbury’s focus moving away from large flagship stores to Convenience Stores and increased ‘online’ shopping fundamentally effecting their market.
Large Super Stores quickly became a thing of the past and in 2015 Sainsbury’s who were, at one time, the Club’s pivotal ‘partner’ in delivery of our new stadium plans first mooted their intention to review the plans for Roots Hall. As a consequence we have had to financially remodel the entire development at Fossetts & Roots Hall… both are major contributors to the Club’s enabling objectives so that the project is both sustainable and debt free allowing the Club to compete and grow. The Club is ambitious to get back to the Championship in our new home.
Fossetts will provide for a 21,000 seater stadium, including within the North Stand, a 107 bed Hotel with adjacent residential (for rent) in both corners of the stadium to help contribute to a true 24/7 environment.
The Club’s hugely successful Academy will also receive a major boost. Within phase 1 of the Club’s plans we will be constructing 2 indoor domes (purchased from the David Beckham Academy in 2014). One of the domes will be for the exclusive use of the Academy enabling us to become a Cat 2 Club and all the benefits that flow to help the Club build the stars of tomorrow from the young people of today. The other dome and which houses a full size pitch will be entirely Community use, reserved for Cecil Jones (LEGRA Academy) during term time (8.30am – 4pm) and at all other times, including weekends, for use by people of the Town including the Club’s Educational & Charitable Trust to further their outstanding work in the Community.
The Club’s Trust already delivers independently evaluated £7.38m of community benefit to the Town and which will be set to increase under the Club’s new stadium facilities. We think this quite an achievement and one the Club is rightly proud of.
On the pitch the new stadium will be the springboard for the Club to fulfil its potential. The Club’s immediate catchment within Southend is some 171,000 rising to 342,000 with Rochford and Castle Point. Beyond those immediate boundaries and within a 35 minute drive time the Club reaches out to 630,000 people.
Our immediate objective is to get back to the Championship and under the new stadium plans those ambitions will be so much easier to achieve, and importantly maintain. At Roots Hall, whilst a great atmosphere (well when we’re winning!), it is increasingly no longer sustainable for the modern era. We do our best but acknowledge the facilities are relatively poor, and certainly by comparison of what we are planning.
The new stadium will be a shining beacon to the Town’s future and a catalyst for more investment and growth of the local economy.