Alan Mak MP officially opens ‘hugely important’ £275,000 hub at Hawks’ Westleigh Park
The two-storey building has taken around four months to build and will provide office space, a club shop and hospitality rooms which will double up as academy classrooms.
The cost of the block is around £275,000, of which 70 per cent - the best part of £200,000 - came from a Football Foundation grant. The rest has come from the club.
That takes overall spending on new facilities at Westleigh Park to over the £800,000 mark since the pandemic started.
A £500,000 3G pitch was used for the first time in October 2020 while around £55,000 was also spent on upgrading the floodlights.
‘We want this (new building) to be a hub, a fulcrum, for the club,’ explained chief executive Stuart Munro.
‘We wanted somewhere for our full-time office staff to be based, and somewhere where people can come and see our staff.
‘Before our staff were in the boardroom, in rooms behind the (Westleigh) pub, all over the place.
‘We also wanted somewhere professional for Paul (Doswell, manager) to talk to his players and do analysis on a big screen. Before he was having to use the boot room - now he has a far more professional environment.’
Mr Mak, wearing a Hawks scarf, described the new building as ‘hugely important’ for the local community.
The new build has two upstairs rooms that will be used by youngsters attending Hawks’ Pro:Direct Academy during the week to study maths and English.
The rooms can be used on matchdays for hospitality - seating around 30 or 40 - which gives the club extra hospitality space in addition to the Platinum club area behind the pub.
Alcohol will also be on sale from a window on the ground floor, allowing supporters to drink in certain areas inside the ground.
Anyone wanting to order alcohol must download an app. On police advice, there are no card or cash sales at present.
Fans will be able to drink inside the ground at a certain area behind the goal at the carpark end of the stadium, and on the grandstand side up to where the seated area begins.
Also for the first time today, OAPS and Under-16s can take advantage of cheaper matchday ticket prices. So far this season adults, OAPs and Under-16s have all paid £15, but as of today prices are £10 for OAPs and £6 for Under-16s.