Salford City FC’s student designed club house gets approval from council planners

By Steven Oldham

Salford City FC are celebrating after having their student-designed clubhouse approved by Council planners.

The Moor Lane club’s old clubhouse was burnt down in an arson attack in 2009, and strict FA rules mean that the facility must be replaced or the face demotion from the Evo-Stik First Division North.

The design, to be completed by AFL Architects, won a competition after the club approached Salford University for help in planning the new clubhouse.

Eric Brooks, Director Of Undergraduate Programmes in School of Built Environment at Salford University, said: “I was overwhelmed by the response of the students.  They put their hearts and souls into this project.”

Over 350 second-year students from courses including surveying, project management and architecture were involved.  The winning design came from Tomasz Zub, a Polish architecture student.

Local MP Hazel Blears was very supportive of the project, according to Eric. 

He said: “Hazel was very supportive. She backed us to the hilt and was involved in the judging of the competition.”

The new clubhouse will have high end changing and medical facilities, with the local community catered with a conference centre, education room and meeting rooms available.

Club Chairman Darren Quick said: “This modern, community-orientated and ambitious project says everything about what we are trying to do at this club.”

He added that the club are looking to raise their profile and expand their fan base.

The celebrations are due to Salford City Council’s planning department verifying the project’s compliance with the rules.

IN THE MAKING: The students’ design has now been approved by the council

Councillor Ray Mashiter, Salford City Council’s executive support member for planning, said: “We have approved the planning application for the new club house as it met all the guidelines and will be a great asset to the city, providing important facilities for the football club and the community.”

The Moor Lane club finished twelfth in the Evo-Stik First Division North this season, and hope the good news will help them push onwards next season.

Tom Snee, Press Officer for the Evo-Stik League, said: “It’s great to see any club in the Evo-Stik League extending their links with the community, because our sides need community support to survive.

It is also good to see a club being pro-active in improving their facilities.  It is especially pleasing to see Salford City looking to do this, given the unfortunate circumstances in which the previous facility met its demise.”

He added that several Evo-Stik division clubs had achieved FA Charter Status for their work as community clubs, and the fact that the club can use the facility commercially was a bonus due to the financial constraints all non-league clubs fight against.

NEW LOOK: The new Club House is set to have a sleek, modern design

Eric Stokes also told us that he was incredibly proud of the work the students put forward.

He said: “I have never seen work the quality of which the students put forward in over 20 years in the industry.  Any construction company would be proud to put their name to several of the projects.”

Salford University is the biggest construction school in the North of England, with AFL Architects being a leading figure in sports stadia building.

Eric summarised by saying: “It’s invaluable experience for the students to show they can engage a client on a multi-discipline level with a need in the real world.  Being honest, Salford City were presented with such high quality work from the students it was the equivalent of them being able to walk into Tesco and pick it up off a shelf.” 

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