The Iron held a new stadium consultation at Glanford Park on Thursday evening.There was a healthy turn-out in the Sir Ian Botham Executive Lounge and we would like to thank everybody who attended.
Representatives from the Frank Whittle Partnership showed a presentation providing an update on the progress of the stadium design over the last few months.
Boards in and around the room also illustrated plans about the new stadium. Impressions, observations, recommendations were requested from those present. There were also forms for people to fill in their feedback.
The design has progressed and we are now looking at more site specific design.
Information was also provided about the new roundabout and plans to declassify the M181 motorway. Access and impact for visitors to the site was discussed.
It was revealed there will be 900 parking spaces, while the integrated hotel will also hold 150 parking spots.
It was discussed how the main element the chairman is keen to progress is a 3G pitch with a viewing terrace and facilities for our youth academy.
Supporters heard how the main stand will boast a 5,000 capacity, with two ends hosting 1,800 and a 3,000 side stand.
Additonally, there are plans for an indoor sports arena with changing rooms, 3G, five a side, seven a side, nine a side and eleven a side pitches.
Supporters heard how all the stands will have a ground floor concourse and integrated bars.
The second floor will be available to let for businesses, in addition to offices. There are plans for a 120 bed hotel and gymnasium (700 square metres) on one corner.
It was discussed how the club are aiming for a '365 24/7' operation.
The Frank Whittle Partnership also illustrated how the new stadium pays homage to Scunthorpe's steelwork past - and future.
They want to give it local character and look at claret and blue lighting strategies for impact on the sky line.
Those present were shown an animation looking at he main stand. The seats spelled out IRON but it was explained how nothing is set in stone and the club are flexible.
It was explained how there has been nine months of work behind the scenes but still work to do before we submit an application to the planning authority.
The club and the Frank Whittle Partnership were joined by Lucents, who are landowners and partners on the project.
Iron chairman Peter Swann said: "All three of us and the club have worked to do this. We deserve it. Why shouldn't Scunthorpe have a facility like this?
"It's 12,000 capacity and works for us. It gives us a real opportunity.
"It's for the community as well. There is huge office space in there. The area will be used seven days a week.
"I have no doubt the 3G pitch will be busy, while the indoor pitch can be used for indoor shows, market stalls and conferences. The space allows flexibility,
"The Lucent investment means we get the land at a nominal fee. The Frank Whittle Partnership have been working hard for us behind the scenes."
The floor was then opened for supporters to ask questions.
Why are we moving to where we're moving to?
Peter Swann: The first location cost far too much money. These things happen, things change and what we have now is better. We can't wait to start moving forward.
Who will own the land?
PS: The club will own the land and stadium. It will be ours. It might take a few years but we won't go silly with the debt. If we're sensible, a lot can be funded. We will wait for the right time to sell Glanford Park. It gives a great chance to utilise what we've got here with as little debt as possible.
Will there be exit roads towards Scotter Road?
A Frank Whittle Partnership representative: There will be several accesses onto the dual carriageway. It's completely pointless building new stadium and entertainment facilities without having several access routes in and out. There has to be an acceptable amount of time. We'll make it work on matchdays and non-matchdays. Traffic is a fundamental element of the design.
PS: There will be cycle routes, a little out of town but not too far. We're looking at other grounds that have had problems.
Will there be a railway platform?
PS: It's a little further away than we were before. There are plans as the site gets bigger that there will be one. Althorpe Station might be moved near the ground but we will leave that to powers that be. Park and ride is a strong possibility too.
Will Ashby, Bottesford etc be closer than to the existing stadium?
PS: Yes. The roundabout will lead straight through to Scotter Road. That will ease pressure off the other side. The Highways agency know what they're doing. They will make things accessible. Access in and out is being looked at and is really important. This isn't just about the football stadium. What we are doing will regenerate the whole area and community. The faciltiies will be used seven days a week.
Will be there solar panels, etc?
FWP: We've looked into that with other clubs. All come into fruition in next stage of design. It's important to create a sustainable development that can create it's own energy.
PS: We are hoping there will be solar panelling, thermal heating and more.
What about sponsors for the stadium?
PS: It has been a great help that it's been a nominal free for the land. We are looking at growth funds and private investors. It is a tight tendering process. There is a lot of interest from a lot of people. We are delighted with where we are at the minute.
When is planning permission likely to go in?
FWP: It should be possible by the end of November, and that will be full detail planning not outline planning.
There has been mention of a four or five star hotel? Can the club manage it?
PS: It will be nice if we can get three and a half four stars, as that will be more practical to run. There is no problem in leasing it. There are certainly advantages for running it yourself too.
What will be the length of build?
FWP: 52 to 60 weeks. Optimistically we think March, 2016 is earliest. Peter wants it as quickly as possible.
PS: A lot of things change when we realise the processes involved. We want to get it right. If we mess up because of a few weeks or a month then we will be kicking ourselves. My aim is January 2016. We've talked to the FA about moving halfway through a season and there doesn't seem to be a problem.
What are the plans for the Iron's academy?
PS: Everything to do with the club will be run at the new stadium. The academy has a two floor corner. They will be close to everyone else. Getting everyone on one site is key to us. The hotel will also give a destination for clubs when we're not using the facility as an income stream. Especially southern clubs.
Will the academy move up a level?
PS: We're aiming for Category 2 status. Tony Daws has us there paperwork-wise. The key work is facilities. This will help is step up to Category 2 status.
What about ticketing and access to the ground?
PS: There will be a card system, where any season ticket holder could go through any turnstile and the card will flash a picture up so we know it's you! We want to try and use as much technology as we can. People will be able to buy tickets for cup matches without queuing. It opens up lots of different avenues to help it run as smoothly as possible.
Will there be undersoil heating?
PS: We have thought about it but there is a cost. We'll do our best to make sure it drains well and is bigger than what we've got.
What about shadows causing frost when cold?
PS: There will be portable lighting, as you'll have seen clubs use. You'll never eliminate shadowing completely but we'll have facilities to warm up those areas.
Will the ground be lit up seven nights a week?
PS: There are areas that will be lit up. We'll try and use LED where we can. That's a priority. We'll have quality lighting because we want to show it off and make it look great.
What about the naming of the ground?
PS: It's whoever pays the most money really. Naming rights are important. It's difficult. We'll try and get feedback and leaflets at a home match where there is a large crowd. We want something easy on the tongue. Naming rights could bring in huge money that would go straight into the budget.
What will we do to avoid a merry-go-round of name changes like at Huddersfield?
PS: It's difficult, because money talks. You want five to ten years. We have a product that really can shine. There is a huge opportunity to be associated with a great stadium. We need as much sponsorship as we can to move forward and invest into the squad.
Will supporters be able to salvage anything from GP?
PS: What we want to do is leave ready for whoever wants to buy it. Demolish and scrap value will pay for that. If supporters want something we'll be looking to make things available. We will move the centenary wall and make it prominent in the new stadium.
Is there the possibility of a statue? Perhaps fountains too?
PS: That sounds good and would work.
Is it realistic that we'll get crowds of 12,000?
PS: Half the reason for moving is so the attendances don't affect income too much. Other income streams will swamp what we take on a matchday.
What about the hospital park and ride?
PS: We'd love the hospital park and ride to come with us and that would link in with more bus routes when we have our travel consultation.
Will you have more disabled facilities?
PS: We will, yes. We want to provide a better experience for people.
Will there be a cheaper season ticket for those who presently stand?
PS: We've not looked at prices but will try and be as competitive as we can. While we'd love to retain standing there is not much choice. The safe standing campaign has not progressed at this stage. We have to go for seating because we've had three years in the Championship. However, it is design so that if it's legally viable we'd put it in.
Will queues for tickets on matchdays reduce?
PS: There won't be a paper ticket. We'll go down the electronic route. Supporters will be able to go in any turnstile, swipe and it will be a lot easier. Want to make it easy and take away queues.
Will you improve the ladies toilets?
PS: 100%. It's important we improve the facilities.
Will there be a big screen?
PS: We're planning for two screens and a modern scoreboard. The screens are important because we want to host concerts and they would be advantageous for that.
Are we going to change the club logo?
PS: We'll leave that choice to the fans. It's important to get it sorted though.
What about acoustics?
PS: We have to be able to provide a PA system good enough to put a band on. We will make it the best we can. There could also be the possibility of magnifying the home supporters area. It's an important issue to me coming from the entertainment industry. We will work on it as we build the stadium.
Will there be better family areas?
PS: There will be. We'll have bars and restaurants for the family. I want people to arrive at 12noon and make a day of it.
What about the supporters bar?
PS: It will be bigger, with more TV's. We'll look at the away side, have customised colours and things in there to make them feel at home. We want to be showing the lunchtime matches on the TV's for our fans. The bar will cater for 450/600. We want an experience that people will enjoy.
Would there be room to extend the stadium if we need to?
PS: It can be extended to 14,500/15,000. It is a great site and the structure will be built so we can add onto it.
Will the club shop be bigger?
PS: Definitely. There will be more items and we want to make the most out of it.
What about leg room?
PS: We're going for MK Dons-style nice comfortable seats.
Peter Swann will be in the club's bars prior to the home game with Preston North End on Saturday and wants to speak with supporters about what they'd like in the new stadium.
He also went on to thank the Frank Whittle Partnership for their presentation and work up to now.