The Guernsey Football Association (GFA) and Guernsey Football Club (GFC) are delighted that plans for a joint venture that will see a new home of Guernsey football created at Victoria Avenue, have finally received approval from the States of Guernsey Planning Service.
The decision to grant approval for the project has been the culmination of over five years of work by the GFA to find its own home in the form of a headquarters with a 3G training facility, whilst simultaneously working in partnership with GFC to develop a site model that will facilitate the needs of the club.
Football is no stranger to Victoria Avenue, as it is already the proud training home of the GFA Academy, Guernsey Ladies FC, Belgrave Wanderers and GFC. It is intended that the newly-created football facility will be used for GFC’s home games, GFA representative matches, and will also provide a 3G training facility available for community use. Having a dedicated football facility would enable the GFA to enhance their coaching, training and grassroots programmes for players from all over the island.
The project will be part funded by the English Football Association in the form of grants and the intention is for the build to begin during 2020 so it is ready for the 2021/22 season. This is seen as opportune timing with the Island Games taking place in Guernsey in 2021 and both parties would be extremely pleased to think Guernsey football would have its own permanent home, with a brand-new flagship sporting facility the island can be proud of.
GFA Chief Executive, Gary Roberts commented that:
“This project represents a significant commitment by the GFA in relation to supporting the on-going development of football in the island. It also represents the culmination of a vast amount of time that has been required to attend meetings with the Football Association, States departments, architects, project managers, GFC and numerous other parties required to facilitate such a project, not least in the last twelve months since the planning application was first submitted. That period has presented challenges in meeting the expectations of the various agencies and organisations that were consulted about the project, and it is pleasing that we have now received the approval of the Planning Service, which indicates that we have been able to develop a project that meets all of the relevant criteria.
I would like to place on record the GFA’s appreciation and gratitude to all of those that have supported the project and assisted in reaching this stage, particularly Andrew Merrett from Lovell Ozanne for all his guidance through the planning process.
The project has been developed in such a way as to be sustainable in the long term and we are now looking forward to working with all relevant partners to successfully deliver a project that we are confident will secure the long-term future of the Islands largest participant and spectator sport.”
GFC chairman Mark Le Tissier said:
“The successful outcome of the planning process and the eventual completion of the project will help to secure the long-term future for GFC and will continue the journey that football development in Guernsey is on under the guidance of the GFA. GFC is extremely grateful to the GFA Board and staff for their support, particularly CEO Gary Roberts who has worked patiently and diligently to see through this part of the project. We would also like to recognise the support and expertise of Andrew Merritt from Lovel Ozannes who has guided us through the complexities of the planning process. GFC look forward to working with all its partners and supporters to bring the dream of our own home to reality. “