Major revamp of Buxton FC's ground to get underway as plans approved

A major revamp of Buxton FC’s ground is to get underway after plans to build an extension on the site were approved by High Peak Borough Council.
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The application, for a two storey extension which will see a new shop, canteen and supporters lounge created at the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium, was given the go ahead at a meeting last week.

David Hopkins, club chairman, said: “We have just come off the back of a very good season which saw us get further in the FA Cup than we have for more than half a century and move up a league.

“We are on an upwards trajectory and we need to improve our grounds to reflect this.”

The Silverlands, home of Buxton FC will be having a new building for the shop, canteen and directors loungeThe Silverlands, home of Buxton FC will be having a new building for the shop, canteen and directors lounge
The Silverlands, home of Buxton FC will be having a new building for the shop, canteen and directors lounge

Buxton Football Club has been part of the town since 1877 and over the last five years a substantial improvement programme has been undertaken at the ground, with more than £1m already being spent.

Previously it was only used once a week for a few hours, and only accommodated a semi-professional first team, with no real community use.But under the current direction, the last five years has seen the installation of a new all-weather 4G pitch, enabling the creation of a full-time education academy in partnership with Buxton & Leek College and Derby University.

More than 500 children are now part of the club, and from next season will be playing under their name, in replica kits.

David said: “And now it’s time to improve the place so many call home.

The Silverlands, home of Buxton FC will be having a new building for the shop, canteen and directors loungeThe Silverlands, home of Buxton FC will be having a new building for the shop, canteen and directors lounge
The Silverlands, home of Buxton FC will be having a new building for the shop, canteen and directors lounge

“The part of the stadium we put the planning application in for houses the existing canteen which serves fifty-plus academy students on a daily basis and fans on match days.

“The sponsors lounge is a converted portable cabin which is nearing its end of life, and the directors lounge has proved too small to be properly functional on match days.

“From the mums, dads, grandparents and carers who come out to watch their youngsters train on a dark winter’s night after school, or those fans visiting from further afield for their away matches, or our wonderful home fans who have cheered on the team in all weathers – we want to give you a ground to be proud of.”

David says the extension will have almost the same footprint as the existing building but with little space to expand on the ground floor, the decision has been made to extend upwards.

David Hopkins chairman of Buxton FC talks about the recently approved extension plansDavid Hopkins chairman of Buxton FC talks about the recently approved extension plans
David Hopkins chairman of Buxton FC talks about the recently approved extension plans

The extension will see a first floor added, accessed via a flight of internal stairs, which will contain two supporters lounges.

The larger of the two will have a balcony overlooking the pitch as well as a drinks bar, and a players lounge.

David explained the current proposals are the next stage in the club’s quest to meet modern standards expected of football grounds in order for it to thrive, secure corporate sponsorship, attract and retain new supporters, and increase pride for players and supporters alike.

He said: “We are in a new league playing football with different teams from all over the north of the country and we want to be the best we can be.

“It may be too much to dream of promotion two years on the trot but even in this higher league we need to be showcasing Buxton FC in the best possible light and improving our facilities.”

On Saturday The Bucks will play in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup as they hope to build on the success of last year when more than 2 million people tuned in to BBC1 to watch Buxton FC take on Morecambe in the second round of the competition in December.

Archaeologist Steve Baker works for Derbyshire County Council and flagged up a key issue with the development .

In a public comment left on High Peak Borough Council’s planning website he said: “Silverlands Football Ground has an entry on Derbyshire Historic Environment Record in relation to the suggested site of a Roman auxiliary fort.“This is based upon the spread of known Roman finds from the surrounding area – dating from the late 1st to late 3rd centuries.”The present site is immediately adjacent to the area of Archaeological Interest and it was noted if ground investigation works are planned at an early stage then these should be archaeologically monitored.

As part of the planning report created for the Development and Control Committee meeting, James Stannard from High Peak Borough Council said: “The existing structures, set to be demolished consist of various roof forms and architectural designs that together, do not have a cohesive appearance and contribute negatively to the overall character and appearance of the site.”

The application was recommended for approval and councillors voted in favour of the proposals.

David added: “I think the whole club and myself as well would have been really disappointed if the plans were not approved.

“I’m really pleased the councillors approved these plans as it means a better future for the club which will have a knock on positive impact across the whole town on match days.”

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