Southend United says substantial progress has been made towards the club’s goal to move to a new stadium.

Planning permission has been obtained for a new stadium and new training ground facilities at Fossetts Farm together with new substantial enabling residential scheme.

The club said it is working through the planning conditions to enable commencement of the first phase of works comprising the new training ground pitches. Construction of the new stadium and new residential community will then follow.

The aim is to commence the 2024/25 season from the first phase of the new stadium at Fossetts comprising, initially, the south, east and west stands that will incorporate a range of corporate and entertainment space.

Next week the club will submit a Scoping Opinion, ahead of a formal application, to refine the stadium design. It seeks permission to amend the design to achieve the following:

  • Reduce the overall capacity of the seating bowl from 21,000 to 17,000
  • Amend the west stand to create our version of the “Kop End” with safe standing
  • Increase the commercial space throughout the first phase of the stadium (mainly in the south stand).

Southend said it hopes that these refinements will lead to two principal benefits for the Club:

  • Enhanced revenue generating opportunities for the Club, both on matchdays and non-match days.
  • A much-improved supporter experience and better atmosphere.

The clubs said in a statement:

Importantly, our architects, world renowned stadia architects Populous, have been instructed to maintain the architectural integrity that is currently proposed. 

A capacity of 17,000 is substantially more than Bournemouth and on par with Brentford, both teams have shown themselves to be well capable of competing towards the top end of the football pyramid. Our aim is to provide an infrastructure to enable us to emulate the success that teams such as these have had.

The commercial areas will include a range of Bars, Restaurants, the Club Shop, Ticket Office and Conferencing and Banqueting space. In addition to the Supporter’s Bar in the South Stand, we will have a large bar area in the West Stand (with music and entertainment) and we will have great food offerings throughout. Indeed, we are using this opportunity to carefully plan the detail of the various food and beverage offerings and hope to share some exciting proposals soon.

The extra commercial space in the first phase will provide us with additional non-matchday opportunities, supplementing the commercial offering in the North Stand (where further enhanced commercial activity will take place). The North Stand will comprise corporate boxes, several conferencing rooms and a ballroom capable of seating 700 guests. 

All in all, the planned commercial space will help us move from a 30 day a year business to something approaching a 365 day a year business. 

The new stadium will be game changing - the Club’s future is bright!