A new football stadium will be built on the Channel Island of Guernsey after the development was granted planning permission.
The decision to grant approval for the project by the States of Guernsey Planning Service has been the culmination of over five years of work by the Guernsey Football Association (GFA ).
The GFA has been looking to find its own home in the form of a headquarters with a 3G training facility, whilst simultaneously working in partnership with Guernsey FC (GFC) to develop a site model that will facilitate the needs of the club.
Football is no stranger to Victoria Avenue, as it is already the proud training home of the GFA Academy, Guernsey Ladies FC, Belgrave Wanderers and GFC, who play in the Isthmian South East League.
It is intended that the newly-created football facility will be used for GFC’s home games, GFA representative matches, and will also provide a 3G training facility available for community use.
Having a dedicated football facility would enable the GFA to enhance their coaching, training and grassroots programmes for players from all over the island.
The project will be part funded by the English Football Association in the form of grants and the intention is for the build to begin during 2020 so it is ready for the 2021/22 season.
This is seen as opportune timing with the Island Games taking place in Guernsey in 2021 and both parties would be extremely pleased to think Guernsey football would have its own permanent home, with a brand-new flagship sporting facility the island can be proud of.
GFA Chief Executive, Gary Roberts said:
This project represents a significant commitment by the GFA in relation to supporting the on-going development of football in the island. It also represents the culmination of a vast amount of time that has been required to attend meetings with the Football Association, States departments, architects, project managers, GFC and numerous other parties required to facilitate such a project, not least in the last 12 months since the planning application was first submitted.
That period has presented challenges in meeting the expectations of the various agencies and organisations that were consulted about the project, and it is pleasing that we have now received the approval of the Planning Service, which indicates that we have been able to develop a project that meets all of the relevant criteria.
GFC chairman Mark Le Tissier said:
The successful outcome of the planning process and the eventual completion of the project will secure the long-term future for GFC and will continue the journey that football development in Guernsey is on.