First look at what £10m Romford Stadium redevelopment will look like
The Recorder has been given an exclusive first look at plans for the multi-million pound redevelopment of Romford Stadium.
Back in March, Ladbrokes Coral Group said it would be giving the stadium a complete refurbishment.
Stadia director Ian Smyth has said that this is going to cost around £10m and that work is expected to be completed by February/March next year.
Works will include a complete renovation of the Millennium Stand, a new restaurant, the demolition of the Main Stand to create over 100 car parking spaces and a modernisation of the reception area and office building.
The steward’s box will also be relocated to be situated in the refurbished stand roof, and the finishing line will be re-positioned in front of the refurbished Millennium Stand.
The Main Stand will be demolished and converted into space for 130 cars, plus wheelchair parking.
Demolition work will begin next week (Monday, July 23) once a large marquee has been put up to allow spectators to still watch races while work is taking place.
The old tote building has already been demolished, and the refurbishment of the Millennium Stand will be the next step.
In the new look stand on the ground level there will be kennels and a vet for the dogs, along with a bar, fast food facilities, and a tote betting store for customers, along with toilets and an area for staff.
On the first floor there will be a new kitchen and restaurant, more indoor seating and another bar.
Another major improvement will be the relaying of the track, which will require 11,000 tonnes of sand being brought in.
In order to raise additional funds for the redevelopment Ladbrokes Coral Group is hoping to sell the car park in London Road.
A few weeks ago the stadium held a meeting with residents who live near by and local councillors, and although a few people raised concerns about late night noise from fans leaving the stadium, Ian said that most of the feedback was positive.
He said that fans had suggested that more family friendly events should take place, and that it was something he was on board with.
A planning application has now been submitted to Havering Council for the redevelopment of the Millennium Stand, however permission is not needed to knock down the Main Stand or to put up the marquee, as it is only temporary.
At the moment the ground capacity has been kept at 250 people, but Ian is hoping to bring back crowds of up to 1,500 when work is finished.
He told the Recorder: “I want this to be the premiere greyhound racing stadium in the country.
“Once the marquee is up next week that is the first big step.
“People will then start to see what we are doing and start to believe that it is actually happening.
“That’s when it will become real.
“It’s going to be a really exciting time for everyone involved.
“It shows the ambition we have for Romford as a business.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for us all – we really want to start with a bang next year. “We want to attract people that maybe haven’t been down to the stadium before, and want them to have the wow factor when they walk in and I think that’s what the new stadium is going to give them.”
He is also hoping that the new stadium will mean more media coverage for Romford, and that it will feature more regularly on Racing Post Greyhound TV and Sky Sports.
Ian who has been stadia director for three months added: “The stadium here is an important part of Romford’s history and we are hoping that it can become an even more important part once the redevelopment is finished.
“Some people might say that Greyhound racing isn’t thriving but I hope that this huge investment shows the commitment we have to the sport here and we are hoping that Romford really flourishes.”