Peterborough weighs up bond scheme for stadium plans

English Championship football club Peterborough United is consulting with its fans over the potential issue of a bond scheme to help finance redevelopment work for its Weston Homes Stadium and ongoing plans for a new home.

The co-owners and board of United have said they are considering the option of issuing a Peterborough United Bond, similar to those issued in recent years by Premier League club Norwich City and fellow Championship team Queens Park Rangers, to raise capital to help finance important work to upgrade Weston Homes Stadium and progress the planning application for the proposed Embankment stadium.

Weston Homes Stadium, United’s home since the club was founded in 1934, is due to require work to install around 1,800 seats in the London Road End terrace. Terracing is not permitted in the Championship, but clubs are given a three-season grace period to adapt their stadia.

United has already used up this allowance, but was granted an additional season covering the current 2021-22 campaign due to the financial challenges caused by COVID-19. The work would need to be carried out should United stay in the Championship, with the club currently 22nd in the table, two points and a single place away from relegation safety.

In August, United submitted planning documents for a new stadium to the local council despite opposition from some locals over the development’s proposed riverside location.

The plans include details of a 19,000-capacity stadium, situated in the Embankment area of the city, with the possibility of expanding the facility to 24,000 in the future. A multi-use venue has been envisaged by the club’s owners, with the venue set up to host a variety of events.

In October 2020, consultancy WSP was appointed to lead a feasibility study for the masterplan of the Embankment area, with the proposed transformation of the 90-acre city-centre site also including a new campus for Anglia Ruskin University.

United has now asked fans to respond to a survey regarding the potential launch of a bond scheme. If it were to go ahead, the club said a Peterborough United Bond would have a five-year term, pay an “attractive rate of interest”, and be eligible for investment via an ISA, meaning UK taxpayers would be able to take interest tax-free.

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