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Hillsborough - a vision of the future

Posted on: Wed 16 Dec 2009

Following the announcement that Sheffield Wednesday has been included in the England bid to host World Cup matches in 2018, we would like to remind supporters of the details of plans to develop Hillsborough, which have already been granted full planning approval by Sheffield City Council.

Press release first issued in August 2009:

Sheffield Wednesday is today sharing with all supporters and the wider community our vision for the future of Hillsborough Stadium.

Click here for a video of the stadium plans

One of the most iconic and historic venues in English football, Hillsborough is set to be re-energised and today we can, for the first time reveal the club's plans for the future.

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As part of the club's wider business plan to improve all aspects of our operations, the stadium's new look and feel will, at its heart, aim to improve the matchday experience for our supporters.

As a club, we are conscious of the positive role we can play within the local community, as highlighted by our partnership with the Children's Hospital, Sheffield.

Our plans for the stadium also focus on developing Hillsborough into a hub of activity for the local community on non-matchdays.

Highlights of our plans include:

• Increased capacity to 44,825 seats with no viewing restrictions
• Removal of pillars and building of a new 'iconic' roof structure for the Kop
• Removal of pillars and building of new roof structure for the West Stand
• A new specific learning zone in the West Stand overlooking the pitch
• Extension of the North Stand to create the biggest classroom in the country and enterprise zones for use by local business and community organisation
• New corporate facilities - 17 new executive boxes in the North Stand
• Improved stadium access and increased car parking spaces
• Making Hillsborough into a 'green stadium' through rainwater harvesting and solar cell technology to power learning zones

These plans will create a facility that has the interests of the club, supporters and the wider community at its core.

An outline planning application has already been presented to Sheffield City Council for the redevelopment.

These plans work in parallel with the club's aim to be chosen by the FA as a potential host ground for their World Cup 2018 bid. We believe Hillsborough would be an impressive venue to play host to the world's best in 2018 although the changes we are planning will be delivered even if Hillsborough is not chosen as a host stadium.

Initial development, to exceed FIFA's requirements for World Cup matches, will cost £9.8m and help strengthen Sheffield's case as a candidate host city for 2018. All costs associated with our proposed developments are within the club's existing business plan and the full scheme will cost around £22m with funding coming from a combination of increased club revenue streams and government grants.

The target date for completion of the new look Hillsborough is the end of 2013.

Commenting on the plans, Sheffield Wednesday chairman, Lee Strafford, said: "It is a great pleasure to share our plans with all Wednesdayites. All fans would agree that Hillsborough is in need of investment and we are happy to present plans that will improve the fan experience, boost the club's revenue generating capabilities and also strengthen our ties with the local community, something which I believe all Wednesdayites can be proud of.

"Hillsborough is our home, it is where we belong and so it has been important for Nick Parker and I to drive this process and we are happy to share these plans with you all.

"The Hillsborough of the future will be community inspired. Football is a proven catalyst for learning, raising ambitions and driving social cohesion and I want to see us hosting schools, adult learning groups other community organisations all year round. As custodians of this proud club we believe this is the right approach to achieve long term success, both on and off the field".

We will continue to update supporters and all stakeholders on the planning process.

To comment on this story log into the forums on ourwednesday.com - the official Sheffield Wednesday social network. 

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