In late January we wrote to advise that we would be conducting a full review of the Stacey West redevelopment project given significant changes and further uncertainty to the cost projections and build timeline feasibility. At a recent meeting of the Board, the Directors considered the options and recommendations coming out of the review and we are now able to provide you with an update.
Thank you for your patience.
Whilst the Board were clear it would have been irresponsible to continue with the original plan, we have attempted to retain our objectives as far as possible but adjust to the current reality, recognising that the overall environment continues to be volatile and uncertain.
Therefore, the chosen way forward is a refined design to overcome cost and supply chain challenges and is modular to provide flexibility in terms of build stages. We envisage three phases which upon completion will deliver an improved fan experience, serve the community better and provide commercial growth.
Whilst a general seating capacity increase is not part of the new design, we plan to upgrade the current stand through refurbishment and continued exploration of rail seating at a 1:1 ratio as per current legislation. Our hope is that over time, and as the merits of rail seating is proven, the ratio of 1:1 will be positively reviewed resulting in an overall capacity increase within the Stacey West stand.
It should be noted that we continue to work on funding, costing, and timing but believe that the adapted approach can be delivered with the support of stakeholders and our planning application will be submitted on the basis phase one can commence as soon as feasible. Timing of phases two and three will follow based on funding timing, prudent cashflow management and business case validation.
In phase one we will build a ground level facility providing a new home for Lincoln City Foundation and space for them to deliver services around education and employability, health and well-being, sport and physical activity and inclusion and community cohesion.
Phase two will be a first-floor facility comprising further community space and flexible office space. We are in discussions to secure occupation by partner stakeholders and local businesses as tenants on the basis the space is used to deliver social impact.
Phase three will be a second-floor facility incorporating hospitality space, designed to deliver commercial growth and dependent on our cashflow position a reasonable prediction for a return on investment of three years.
The attached images provide indicative illustrations of the three phases with final plans being produced in due course.
In keeping with the aims of the project we have taken a multi-source approach to funding. In addition to the already secured Football Foundation Grant, the Towns Fund, a contribution from the club’s operating budget and The Stacey West Investment Bond, we can now announce we have agreed a major partnership with Lincolnshire Co-op that will see them take the exclusive naming rights of the newly created Lincoln City Community and Skills Hub within the stand and associated stand advertising for the next three years.
The stand shall absolutely remain named as the Stacey West in memory of Bill Stacey and Jim West, tragically taken, along with 54 others in the 1985 Bradford Fire disaster.
Currently we are holding Bond investments of £369,600 which are accruing interest in line with each individual bondholder’s choice of interest rate. The Bond remains open on the existing terms, namely, minimum investment of £500, interest rates of 1%,2% or 3% and 5, 7 and 10-year terms.
Encouragingly, new applications have been received and accepted in March and our current position is we will keep the bond scheme open indefinitely to continue to raise further funds.
We are reviewing how we can incorporate supporter services within phase two and we reaffirm our commitment to recognise bondholders in the new building and hold exclusive by invitation events for all bondholders.
The Board believe the original objectives can be delivered through the updated design and are pleased to be able to reaffirm that the terms of the bond remain unchanged, but invite bondholders who have any questions to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Stacey West development project continues to be a key part of our vision to be a successful and sustainable club that forms an integral part of and adds value to the community.
On securing planning approval, the project team will manage execution of the three phases and continue to provide updates to the Board for review and approval as we pass through key milestones.
The Red Imps Community Trust and LCFC Board remain confident we can deliver a new Stacey West stand to be proud of and will provide further updates as we progress.
Thank you for your ongoing support for this project and the club.
Rob Bradley, Interim Chair, The Red Imps Community Trust
Clive Nates, Chairman, Lincoln City Football Club