The Planning Control Committee at Luton Borough Council has approved planning permission to build the new Luton Town stadium at Power Court. During the meeting, the Development Control Committee was addressed by Luton Town Chief Executive Gary Sweet, and 2020 Developments associates Sean McGrath and Michael Moran who laid out the many benefits that the new stadium would bring to the Club and the community at large.
In his closing remarks, Gary Sweet also demonstrated the Club’s ambition, were the developments to go ahead.
“It would instantly elevate our footballing ambition to another level. If Leicester City in a new surrounding can win the Premier League, then so can we, it will increase our support base and make sure Luton Town are permanently financially viable going forward.”
Workington Council is making new stadium plans key to the council’s bid to be a host for Rugby League World Cup games in 2021 which, if successful, would give an additional boost to the economy and promote sport in the area.
Speaking at a recent Executive meeting, Alan Smith, Leader of the Council said: “This project is all about bringing these sporting facilities into the 21st century. It is a major redevelopment of the area which meets many of the council’s objectives and a smaller proposal would not do this. But this is more than just a stadium. This is about being ambitious for our area and building a community facility which will be used by everyone and inspire the wealth of sporting talent in the area.”
Deputy Leader, Mark Fryer, said: “The project meets the priorities of the council and there is a strong economic and strategic case for it. The quality of it is due to the strong commitment of the partners, including the teams, the NHS and Sellafield, which collectively brings the vision for developing the area and building the great sporting facilities that we have before us today. ”
It is hoped that a planning application can be submitted by the end of January 2019. This has been delayed due to changes to the original design .
Late design changes to accommodate extra office space for workers from Sellafield have increased the estimated cost of the project by £10m, to around £25m. However, the increase in rental income helps to make the whole project more viable. It also meets the council’s priorities to boost the economy of Workington and make it more sustainable by bringing large numbers of workers into the town.
It is estimated the stadium would directly support 400 FTE jobs and 36 jobs indirectly, with a further 345 FTE jobs in the construction phase alone.
A full financial business case with operating and funding arrangements is still being devised and three potential funding models are being considered. The business case will go before council members and are subject to approval. The decisions are also subject to the granting of planning permission (application due Spring 2019). If everything is approved as planned, then construction is due to start in November 2019 with completion in the spring of 2021.
Everton’s financial muscle
Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri told the club’s general meeting that finance for the new stadium would come from a loan of around £350m from the private market, £100m expected from a naming and rights partner, and in the form of equity capital. Moshiri also said he is so committed to seeing the project through that he pledged his own money to assist in construction costs.