The club has revealed that a planning application put in for the Stacey West end of the ground has been approved by the local council.
There have been lots of mutterings about potential expansion recently, with planning having been in for a while. Whilst nothing is set in stone right now, the club is now able to move on to stage two of the process, which could see Sincil Bank’s capacity raised closer to 12,000.
The official club statement read:
Lincoln City Football Club can today announce that the planning application to extend the Stacey West Stand at LNER Stadium has been granted.
The potential redevelopment and expansion of the Stacey West Stand would see a significant increase in the quality of facilities currently accessible within the stand. New concourse areas will be constructed to allow both Imps and visiting supporters access to facilities underneath the stand, as well as other rooms/function areas which can be used by the community.
The plans, which would extend the capacity of the stand from 1,944 to around 3,400 seated supporters, were passed by Councillors yesterday and now the football club can explore the options available ahead of stage two of the process.
A lengthy consultation process has already been undertaken to understand design and construction options and going forward we will continue to work in more detail with stadium architects and the Safety Advisory Group to assess all seating options available. This could include but is not limited to, rail seating, which if implemented would increase the capacity even further while continuing to ensure that LNER Stadium is an all-seater facility.
Chief Executive, Liam Scully said: “We are all delighted that the planning permission application for the Stacey West Stand project has been granted. We now enter phase two of the process where we will look to partner with grant-giving agencies and commercial partners as part of our fundraising attempts, in order to make this exciting project a real possibility.
“At this stage, we must stress this is not a commitment to undertake the development as this will depend on many factors, however, we enter phase two with positive intention and with full commitment to explore all options to drive the football club forward on and off the field.”
The exciting news here isn’t just that of the capacity increase, but the talk of accessing underneath the stand and getting improved facilities. How this would work is yet to be revealed, but it might end up alleviating some of the pressure on existing facilities. It will also develop a further revenue stream in terms of refreshments and possibly pouring points.
There’s also mention of railed seating, something else that would prove hugely popular. Whilst this is ‘not a commitment to undertake the development’ as the statement says, it is evidence of the club thinking ahead and, hopefully, planning for a long term future at this level.