South Shields Football Club have revealed their summer plans after receiving planning permission for new stands and a 3G football pitch at Mariners Park.
Renovation at the club’s ground, based in Shaftesbury Avenue, has been ongoing since the Mariners returned there under the chairmanship of Geoff Thompson a year ago.
The next stage of the development – which is expected to involve a six-figure outlay – will start on Monday, when work begins on installing a 3G football pitch on the bottom field at Mariners Park.
It will then be hired out to those who want to use it, and also utilised by the club’s first-team, ladies and junior sides for training sessions.
In addition, three new covered stands will be put in place in time for next season on the opposite side of the pitch to the clubhouse.
Overall, the stands will have space for 800 standing supporters, bringing the total number of fans who can be covered during matches to about 1,400, and raising the overall capacity of the ground.
This is all part of our continued development plan at Mariners Park, and we hope to make further improvements in the years aheadMichael Orr
Among the other summer plans are to install a balcony for supporters to watch games outside the top level of the clubhouse, and more provision for disabled supporters.
Michael Orr, the club’s managing director, said: “We are very pleased to have received planning permission for our summer works, which we hope will further enhance facilities for our supporters and the community.
“The 3G pitch, in particular, is very important for us, and will allow us to further engage with the community, hopefully leading to significantly increased footfall at Mariners Park on non-matchdays.
“The new covered areas were also a priority for us, because we had so many supporters last season that there wasn’t enough cover for them at some games to protect them from the elements.
“The 3G pitch should be completed by mid-August, while the new stands should be in place by the end of July, so everything should be in place well in advance of our first home league fixture on September 6.
“This is all part of our continued development plan at Mariners Park, and we hope to make further improvements in the years ahead.”
Drainage work on the first-team pitch at Mariners Park is now complete, with the rest of the summer to now be used to level the pitch and bed in new grass in time for the season.