Stockport County submits planning application for stadium expansion

CGI of expansion plans

Stockport County FC has submitted a hybrid planning application for the phased expansion of its Edgeley Park ground.

The plans would increase stadium capacity from 10,852 to 18,305 for the EFL League Two champions.

The application, which has been prepared by Asteer, follows two rounds of public consultation where the club sought feedback and received overwhelming support for its vision for the ground from the local community and fans.

The hybrid application (part full/part outline) is based on a phased approach to investing in improvements to Edgeley Park, to ensure sustainable growth in-line with success on the pitch and to meet league requirements as the club targets its return to Championship football.

The initial phase would include the eastern expansion and enhancement of the North Stand (Danny Bergara Stand) and East Stand (Railway End).

The expanded North Stand would provide around 600 additional seats, increasing the capacity of this stand to around 3,312, while the new East Stand would see its capacity increase from 1,366 up to around 4,449.

Subject to securing planning permission, the club is looking to begin work on the North Stand eastern extension in early 2025, but this would not affect fans currently seated in the North stand.

As part of County’s long term plans, the South Stand would be redeveloped to increase its capacity to around 5,500, as well as delivering new food and beverage and hospitality facilities.

The final element would be a western extension to the North Stand, providing another 600 seats. The plans also include formalising the long term use of Bergara Close for coach parking which is currently implemented on a temporary basis.

If the proposed plans are successful, the halo effect of redeveloping Edgeley Park could be huge for both Edgeley and Stockport.

Predicted to boost stadium attendance by circa 150,000 per year, the benefits for neighbouring businesses are predicted to bring a gross value add of circa £2m per year, supporting new jobs and further economic growth for the borough.

Once complete, the redevelopment of Edgeley Park will create up to 25 new core jobs, with an additional 160 casual staff expected to be needed for matchdays and other stadium events.

Ken Knott, non-executive Chairman at Stockport County, said: ‘‘This is a very exciting time for the club as we continue to go from strength-to-strength, both on and off the field, ending the year as EFL League Two Champions and achieving promotion into EFL League One.

“We have outlined our ambition to reach the Championship and have already taken great strides towards reaching this goal, but, ultimately, we believe that the expansion and enhancement of Edgeley Park is crucial to support the continued growth of the club and providing a platform for future success.”

He added: “As such, we are delighted to submit plans for the expansion and enhancement of Edgeley Park, helping to create a true community stadium.

“The ground means a great deal to the fans and the local community, and we want to ensure that the stadium matches our level of ambition so it can continue to provide a first rate home for the club and the local community for many years to come.”