Work due to start on new Margate FC changing rooms and kit room

Margate Football Club grounds (Photo by MFC)

Work to install new Home and Away changing rooms, male and female match officials changing rooms and a kit room are set to begin at Hartsdown Park, the club has announced.

The work is thanks to Margate FC securing partnership funding via the Premier League Stadium Fund.

The works will also include a new external path and retractable players tunnel to be installed on the west side of Hartsdown Park.

With current build and delivery times, the Club predict a five-month timeline before the new facilities will be fully operational.

Image MFC

Chairman Ricky Owen said: “It has been a long road to reach this point. I want to thank the Premier League for their support on this project.

“I am fully aware how important this is to the club and our supporters – who have been waiting for the news. I sat down last year and said I hoped that these would be completed during the 2021/22 season, however, for various reasons it’s been held up. I am pleased we are now in a position to proceed.

“This is an important step in the whole development. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes involved in getting this over the line.”

Redevelopment plans for Margate FC Image GPM/Margate FC

In May 2021 planning approval was granted for a 120-bed hotel, new stands, restaurant, café, club shop and increased car parking at the club following consultation with the Secretary of State.

Margate Football Club’s  application was developed with hotel partner IHG Hotels and the brand Holiday Inn Express to reflect increased demand for hotel rooms in Thanet.

Plans showed the East Block for use as a 120-bedroom hotel together with restaurant and bar facilities. The building is to also include space for MFC club offices and a club shop together with the stadium control room. The stand will be all-seater and have a capacity of 650.

The North Stand will be a terrace with a capacity of 1,300. This part of the plan includes the first team home and away changing facilities, together with ancillary spaces.

The car park will be extended to provide 104 parking spaces and access to all of the East Block offices, shop and hotel.

Image GPM/Margate FC

Plans for a hotel development at the Hartsdown site were originally granted in 2012.

The initial scheme was for a football stadium, an 80 bed hotel, fitness club, children’s club, children’s play area, theme bar, conference and banqueting suites, hospitality boxes, admin offices, boardroom, 10 five a sides and one full size all weather pitch and associated parking and landscaping.