Highbury expansion hopes

memory lane may 7''then and now'Highbury Stadium, Fleetwood 2011
memory lane may 7''then and now'Highbury Stadium, Fleetwood 2011

Ambitious Fleetwood Town FC are planning a ground expansion.

The club aims to buy the one corner of their Highbury Avenue stadium not in their control – opening up the possibility of a further ground expansion.

Part of the stadium is currently occupied by Highbury Soccer Social Club. But if the football club could get that land it would open up opportunity for further seats or terracing to push the ground capacity beyond 6,000.

In an unusual swap deal, the football club wants to buy the empty Jolly Sailor pub on nearby Radcliffe Road and give it to the social club in exchange for their current premises.

At the moment the extra capacity is not needed, but could be important if the club realises its dream of playing in the Football League next season.

The football club estimates the Jolly Sailor value at £200,000 – twice that of the Highbury club.

Football club chairman Andy Pilley said “We’ve had a very good relationship with the Highbury over many years, but as the football club has progressed, we’ve become more aware of the adverse impact our success is having on their business.

“While our current ground capacity is easily sufficient for our current attendances, and our need for the Highbury site isn’t yet significant, the current availability of an alternative site so close is too good an opportunity for both parties not to explore.

“Such an option may never exist again in the future.”

The Highbury Club secretary Ronnie Wakefield said further meetings needed to be held and he did not wish to comment further at this stage.