Brentford FC made history by becoming the first League club in London to be owned by its fans. Now they’re looking to secure their future by moving from their historic Griffin Park site to a new location near to Kew Bridge station.
The Club is working with Barratt Homes to develop a new 20,000 seat community stadium on an industrial site in Lionel Road, Brentford. They plan a real community asset, including a leisure centre, health centre, social enterprise business centre, learning zones, a hotel and conference centre and new residential units.
Brentford’s Project Director, Brian Burgess, explains: “The vision is to create a vibrant community hub with a wide range of facilities that will attract all sections of the local communities throughout the week. By linking sport with health, education, employment, training and social enterprise we aim to promote social inclusion and wellbeing.”
The land has been acquired by Barratt Homes, who are working with the Club on initial designs and feasibility studies. Hounslow Council is fully behind the scheme, which would include a replacement for the nearby Fountains Leisure Centre which is in need of investment. The project will deliver the regeneration of three sites: the new stadium complex at Lionel Road, high quality residential accommodation on Griffin Park, and mixed use development on the existing Fountains Leisure Centre site on Chiswick High Road.
The new location is much better suited to a modern football club than the current town centre site, with easy connections to the national road network from the A4 and M4, and Kew Bridge station just a short walk away. The scheme, with master planning designed by Assael Architecture, is styled the Brentford Community Stadium.
The ‘Community’ part of the name isn’t an idle boast – the plans feature a new indoor sports centre, a health centre, a social enterprise business centre and learning zones as well as hotel, conferencing and commercial leisure facilities and of course a new residential community.
On another side of London, Arsenal’s new stadium has been financed by blocks of one and two bed apartments. Clearly that financial model is challenging now, and Brentford is looking to break fresh ground with a new model. Antony Spencer, of Stadium Capital Developments, who is credited with assembling the Emirates Stadium scheme, is also advising on the project.
The Bees are doing alright on the field at the moment, and it looks like they might have a brand new field to play on in future.