Plans unveiled for new stand for Southport FC

How Southport's ground, Haigh Avenue, will look

Plans for a new main stand at National League North football club Southport have been unveiled by sports stadia designer the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP).

FWP has devised a masterplan for the ambitious Merseyside non-league club to upgrade its stadium and facilities over a phased timetable.

Images of the new stadium renovations and additions have gone on show in Southport to give supporters and commercial partners a vision of the future for the tier-six club.

FWP, based in Preston and Manchester, has remodelled and designed significant improvements to the existing main stand as the first phase with work beginning in the summer.

A new side stand with around 1,200 seats, new corporate lounge and facilities, a new ‘away’ end stand will follow in future phases.

Neil Ainsworth, partner at FWP, said: “We are pleased to be working with Southport FC on their ambitions for a more modern stadium.

“Our plans will provide a much better supporter experience on match days and new corporate facilities will help the club maximise its commercial opportunities.

“We have used our experience working with many clubs in a similar position to give Southport a sustainable, manageable timetable for upgrading the Merseyrail Community Stadium, which will help the club fulfil its ambitions to move higher up the football league pyramid.”

Natalie Atkinson, chief executive of Southport FC, said: “This is a very exciting period in the club’s history; we are very ambitious and have exciting plans that we want to share with the town.

“I am very much looking forward to unveiling our vision to not only our supporters but the wider community.”

FWP has successfully advised more than 80 sports clubs across the UK on their redevelopment and modernisation plans with many of them going on to design and build modern new facilities.

Championship club Preston North End’s striking Deepdale ground was led by FWP and ambitious National League club AFC Fylde’s new home at Mill Farm on the Fylde coast is another award-winning project from the FWP team.

FWP is also working with Scunthorpe United to design a 12,000 capacity all-seater stadium for the Football League club.

It has created new facilities for Fleetwood Town, Peterborough United and Oldham Athletic and is developing stadia and community assets for clubs such as Leamington, Forest Green Rovers and 1874 Northwich.

FC United of Manchester is another club that has benefitted from FWP’s expertise in its work to create its first home.