Appeal underway to upgrade ground

EVO-STIK League Marine have launched a fresh funding appeal so they can start work on the latest upgrade to their home at the end of the season.

Excited officials at the Marine Travel Arena set a target of £35,000 on Tuesday to demolish an old timber facility behind the main stand and replace it with a brand new building housing a matchday snack bar, stewards control room, spectator first aid treatment room, club shop, matchday office, kit store and a new spectator hospitality room.

Submitted to Sefton Council planners by Crosby architect Tony Diaz Associates, the scheme to completely re-model the College Road end of the stadium will create space for an additional entrance and the installation of a double turnstile block to improve spectator safety for higher profile games requiring segregation by allowing for additional access points to the Jubilee Road and Crosender Road sections of the stadium.

The hospitality suite will be a completely new facility for spectators on matchdays on a pre-booked basis to provide football hospitality packages before, during and after games.

To ensure their plans can go ahead, the Mariners have reached an agreement in principle with Bath Street Marine Table Tennis Club to move them elsewhere on the ground subject to them obtaining the necessary funding and planning permission which will be submitted in a separate application.

In a statement announcing the latest major upgrade to their home, the EVO-STIK League Premier Division club's chairman Paul Leary confirmed they were already in talks with the Football Stadium Improvement Fund to secure a grant to add to £13,000 already raised and earmarked for the project.

The Mariners chairman said: “We are hopeful the scheme will be eligible for Football Stadium Improvement Funding [FSIF] and I am in discussions with the FSIF staff providing full details of our plans. Early indications are that the scheme is allowable subject to meeting the normal application criteria.

"However, we have to provide a required portion of funds towards the cost of the scheme and we are this week launching an appeal to our supporters, sponsors, suppliers, members and friends to help us with donations towards the cost. We have set an appeal target of £35k and have raised £13k so far but we have a lot to do in a relatively short space of time if the building work is to take place next summer.

"I appeal therefore to the many friends and supporters of Marine to help us with this important project that will transform the frontage to our stadium. As a football club we work really hard with our community partners and I appeal to as many people as possible to help us make this scheme happen.

"If anyone would like to make a donation to the appeal then cheques should be made payable to “Marine FC Ground Appeal” and should be sent to Secretary Richard Cross at 74 Elvington Road, Hightown, Liverpool L38 9AN. Alternatively, donations can be made securely on line by accessing www.groundappeal.co.uk and clicking on donate.”

Marine vice-chairman Dave McMillan added: “This is a really exciting scheme for the club and will be a huge improvement to the existing facilities at the College Road end. The hospitality suite is something a number of clubs have nowadays and will give fans the chance to celebrate a special occasion in style as well as bringing in additional revenue to the club.

"We will retain the old photos and memorabilia from the existing tea room and incorporate these and others within the new buildings. Subject to obtaining planning and the necessary funding we intend to carry out the scheme during the 2018 close season.”

Images courtesy of @MarineAFC/Twitter

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