April 9 2020 Latest news:
Nick Hitchens, Reporter
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Both the club’s directors and new Gravesham Borough Council leader John Burden are keen to meet to discuss a major upgrading of the ground, or revive plans for a potential move after Fleet’s 4-2 play-off final victory on Sunday.
Club director Jessica McQueen is a former member of Fleet Group Development Ltd, formed in 2008 to look at buying Stonebridge Road, or building a new ground.
She said: “There aren’t many clubs who get relegated and come straight back up. We want to first stabilise and then push on. Improved facilities can only help that.”
Stonebridge Road was brought by the council in 2009 and is leased to the club at £1 a year until 2025.
The board will meet with Mr Burden, who officially took control of the council on Tuesday, to discuss extending this to a 99-year lease with a view to ultimately buying it.
Jess McQueen added: “If we own it we can apply to get grants to help with upgrades and improvement, but we will work with the council on how to do this.”
Improvements to the main stand, the roofing areas and to away fans facilities are all required at the 106-year-old ground.
“Stonebridge Road is an old stadium but if we can provide top quality facilities it improves the experience for both our fans and the travelling support,” she added.
Mr Burden said he fully supported Ebbsfleet’s plans for the future.
He said: “If we can find a way of working with the club to achieve their ambitions we will, but the council finances are in dire straits. Whatever the club name, Ebbsfleet or Gravesend and Northfleet, this club is part of the town and we want to support them however we can.”
Talks will also be held on a potential open top bus parade to celebrate the club’s victory.
Ms McQueen said: “It has been a long season and the players only have a short break but it would be great for the guys to be able to celebrate in the town.”