Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club Marine AFC have announced plans for the latest upgrade to the Marine Travel Arena, which will see the demolition of the existing old timber building which was originally built in 1929.

The scheme submitted to Sefton Council planners by Crosby architect Tony Diaz Associates includes a complete re-modelling of the College Road facilities behind the main stand to include in the new building units a match day snack bar, stewards control room, spectator first aid treatment room, club shop, match day office, kit store and a new spectator hospitality room.

The layout of the new facilities creates the space for an additional spectator entrance and passageway adjacent to the existing club entrance that allows the installation of a double turnstile block which will be positioned next to the existing players changing rooms.
These turnstiles will improve spectator safety for higher profile games that may require segregation, allowing additional access points to the Jubilee Road and Crosender Road sections of the stadium.

The hospitality suite will be a completely new facility open to spectators on match days on a pre-booked basis providing the usual football hospitality packages before, at half-time and after games. The club have reached agreement in principle with Bath Street Marine Table Tennis Club which will see them accommodated elsewhere on the ground, subject to them obtaining the necessary funding and planning permission, which will be submitted by them in a separate application.

Marine Vice-Chairman Dave McMillan said:

"This is a really exciting scheme for the club and will be a huge improvement to the existing facilities at the College Road end.
The hospitality suite is something a number of clubs have nowadays and will give fans the chance to celebrate a special occasion in style as well as bringing in additional revenue to the club.

"We will retain the old photos and memorabilia from the existing tea room and incorporate these and others within the new buildings.
Subject to obtaining planning and the necessary funding we intend to carry out the scheme during the 2018 close-season."

Marine Chairman Paul Leary added:

"We are hopeful the scheme will be eligible for Football Stadium Improvement Funding [FSIF] and I am in discussions with the FSIF staff providing full details of our plans. Early indications are that the scheme is allowable subject to meeting the normal application criteria. However we have to provide a required portion of funds towards the cost of the scheme and we are this week launching an appeal to our supporters, sponsors, suppliers, members and friends to help us with donations towards the cost.

"We have set an appeal target of £35k and have raised £13k so far but we have a lot to do in a relatively short space of time if the building work is to take place next summer. I appeal therefore to the many friends and supporters of Marine to help us with this important project that will transform the frontage to our stadium.

"As a football club we work really hard with our community partners and I appeal to as many people as possible to help us make this scheme happen."

If anyone would like to make a donation to the appeal then cheques should be made payable to "Marine FC Ground Appeal" and should be sent to Secretary Richard Cross at 74 Elvington Road, Hightown, Liverpool L38 9AN. Alternatively donations can be made securely on line by accessing www.groundappeal.co.uk and clicking on donate.

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