Contract for new clubhouse signed

The following statement has been issued by the Club to announce exciting developments with the new clubhouse. The above picture is an artist’s impression of the new building, and at the end of the statement, you’ll find a layout plan.

The Board of Horsham Football Club is extremely pleased to announce that after some lengthy and detailed discussions, we have signed a contract with Reside Construction to build our new clubhouse facility at Hop Oast. The clubhouse will form the centrepiece of the long-awaited new home for Horsham Football Club in the town. The building will comprise a dividable function suite with bar, Sky TV, a professional kitchen, state of the art dressing room facilities for home and away teams and officials, together with a reception, club office and a small retail unit for sales of club merchandise.

Reside Construction is a major building firm, highly experienced in building and refurbishing commercial developments in both the public and private sectors. Based in the Test Valley, near Romsey, Winchester and Southampton, Hampshire, they operate throughout the South of England and offer a total construction service from cost planning potential schemes through to the design, build and handover of a range of construction projects. Director Kevin Hayter commented; “We are very pleased to have been appointed by Horsham Football Club to build the wonderful clubhouse at the new home of the Hornets. We very much look forward to working alongside both the Club and the design team to provide the best of facilities that will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Horsham Director and CEO John Lines said; “The clubhouse contract was the final piece of the jigsaw that will see the Hornets into their new home. Our supporters have been waiting a very long time to see this happen and I am delighted to report that groundwork will begin as early as next week.

I have to say a very loud word of thanks to our Project Manager Robin Bishop of TDS (Technical Development Services) who has not only been a joy to work with, but has been thoroughly professional in directing the build programme to date with his invaluable expertise and technical understanding. Robin is Managing Director of TDS, who are based in our old access road off Queen Street, and is no stranger to Isthmian League football. Robin is both a Physio and part of the Guernsey FC management team, but we forgive him for that!“.

The site has seen a remarkable transformation from a derelict overgrown field to having the community training pitch completed, the car park built, most of the sub-ground infrastructure in place and the stadium pitch ready to be surfaced. The main grandstand should be arriving on site within the next two weeks, which will provide a comforting focal point on the far touchline. We are hopeful of being able to provide the community pitch for use by the Club’s junior teams and first team training before the end of the year, subject to the various approvals required in line with our Planning Consent.

As much as we would like to play our first team matches at Hop Oast before the end of the current season, in reality, and with the uncertainty of weather conditions over winter which could easily affect the build time-line, we are preparing ourselves to expect completion to be in May 2019. This will allow us three months to plan, rehearse and experiment with all aspects of delivering the facility in tip-top shape for competitive football. John Lines commented; “It may be a disappointment in some ways not to be open for business in 2018/19, but far better for everyone to have the ground 100% ready and give us the time to plan a spectacular opening with a high profile top club as opposition for the first game. It will also give us time to prepare a programme for use of the facility by other local and community clubs, as well as hiring to the general public. We have received enquiries from a substantial number of clubs, individuals and community-based schemes asking about using the facility.

We also want to develop further our own Youth set-up to encourage more local boys and girls to become involved with the Club. Our Youth Secretary and Welfare Officer, Annie Raby, does a fantastic job in co-ordinating our junior teams, and she is very excited at the prospect of expanding the numbers and forming at least one girls’ team.

Another area the Club is keen on developing, is a Sixth Form Football Academy. We are in discussions with a prominent University which has a fantastic track record in combining academic achievement with sporting ability, and we hope to have more news on that shortly.”

Horsham Chairman, Kevin Borrett added: “These are extremely exciting times for the club and those who have supported us in our 10-year journey to get our new home. It is vital for the long-term sustainability of the Club that we get the Business Plan up-and-running, without the added pressure of worrying whether the ground will be ready with all the necessary safety approvals for only a few games at the end of this season. To hold back the opening date is a sound business and commercial decision, which ensures we will be giving our supporters, and the public, exactly what they want, expect and deserve.

We are presently in talks with potential sponsors for the Stadium Naming Rights among other vital financial considerations. We have waited a long time for this moment; heartache turned to joy, so I ask our friends and supporters to be patient, and you will have the finest non-league facility around.”

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