English League Two football club Stockport County has set out its vision to redevelop Edgeley Park into a 20,000-seat stadium as part of its long-term ambition to return to the Championship.
County is set to launch a public consultation process on September 28 inviting views on proposals to expand and improve the stadium, which has been its home since 1902. The consultation, which is the first of two phases, will include events for local residents and club supporters to view the emerging plans and speak to the project team.
The vision for an expanded Edgeley Park includes brand new East (Railway) and South (Together) Stands, bringing each roughly in line with the height of the existing Cheadle End, and an expansion to the North (Bergara) Stand to run the full length of the pitch.
All of these combined would take the stadium’s capacity to approximately 20,000, with County adding there are no plans to expand the Cheadle End Stand itself. The proposals would ensure the whole stadium is fully accessible with brand new facilities, new food and drink offerings and hospitality areas, as well as in the region of 30,000 sq ft of flexible workspace in the new East Stand.
The club has committed to two phases of public consultation before it seeks to submit planning applications at the end of the year. This will set out the outline vision for the whole expansion, as well as more detailed plans for the East Stand, the first targeted for redevelopment, provisionally starting in summer 2023.
County said the major investment into Edgeley Park also presents an opportunity to improve the environmental performance of the stadium and support Stockport and Greater Manchester’s carbon reduction targets. The club will also be working on a travel plan, with the aim of encouraging fans to travel to matches using sustainable modes of travel and minimising impacts on the local community.
The redevelopment scheme follows County’s promotion from the National League last season and back into the English Football League (EFL) for the first time since 2011. Following Mark Stott’s takeover in January 2020, the club created a seven-year masterplan to return to the Championship and in February agreed a 250-year lease for Edgeley Park with Stockport Council.
Ken Knott, Stockport County non-executive chairman, said: “Edgeley Park has been our home since 1902 and the club has been a key part of the community in Stockport for 120 years. With our ambition to play Championship football once again, we’ve got a real opportunity to invest in the stadium and create not just the sporting facilities we need, but to create a ripple effect reaching further into Stockport itself, boosting the town and its economy.
“We know promotion to the Championship will take some time and delivering the emerging plans will also take time. By proposing to deliver new stands in phases, culminating in a final capacity of approximately 20,000 seats, we can reduce the impact on the club and our neighbours, while still playing at home.
“Involving our neighbours and supporters early in the process of designing these expansion plans is very important to us. Our aim is to create excitement and ambition not just within the club, but across Stockport.”