Non-league Hastings United FC are pushing ahead with development of a new stadium as part of the Combe Valley Sports Village Complex.
The new fully sustainable Sports Hub will provide a wide range of sports facilities for the area, not least a brand new state of the art stadium for Hastings United FC and a cricket ground and pavilion for Horntye Park where Hastings & St. Leonards Priory CC currently play.
In addition a sand dressed hockey pitch will be provided for South Saxons Hockey Club and also an indoor sports hall where various sports will be accommodated.
From a footballing perspective the new stadium and facilities, will include conference and banqueting rooms plus meeting rooms, classrooms and a sports bar.
In addition the club will have access to a 3G pitch. These facilities will enable the club to generate non match day revenue to re-invest into the Hastings United Football Academy, as well as in the first team. This will give the club the support it needs to hopefully climb through the non-league football pyramid.
Funding for the scheme has now been secured and builder Keepmoat Homes is taking a stake to deliver the housing schemes as part of this important regeneration project.
Since first releasing details last November about the proposed move to the Combe Valley site club directors Peter Sherlock and Daren Burney, both of whom have considerable experience in delivering sports related stadia and training grounds for Premiership football teams, have been in dialogue with the site owner Hastings Borough Council and the planning authority Rother District Council. Burney said:
The response to date from both Hastings and Rother has been encouraging. The project is certainly gaining momentum and shortly we hope to commence the pre-application stage in terms of planning. Providing all goes well, in terms of our pre-application discussions and submissions, we would hope to be able to submit the planning application in early 2018 and deliver these first class facilities for the start of the 2019/20 football and hockey season.
HUFC director David Nessling commented:
The club has the drive and determination to move forward and play at a much higher level. We have wonderful supporters at our club who deserve success. We want to make them all proud and there is no reason why we cannot head towards the Football League in the next 7-10 years. Our academy investment is starting to reap rewards as we see several promising young players knocking on the door of the 1st team, and there is no reason why we cannot produce a regular stream of local talent going forward.
The opening of the new stadium will coincide with the 125th Anniversary of Hastings United Football Club.