International Surrey Football is pleased to announce that the organisation has officially submitted planning permission to Guildford Borough Council as part of a consortium for the construction of a new 3,000 capacity multi-use stadium on land owned by the University of Surrey, with the facility operated as part of Surrey Sports Park.
The consortium consisting of International Surrey Football, University of Surrey (also representing Surrey Sports Park), non-league football side Guildford City Football Club and Premiership Rugby Union side Harlequin Football Club will jointly fund and use the facility as a premier football and rugby venue in Guildford. Additional funding will also be provided by Guildford Borough Council and the Football Foundation to cover the estimated £6 million to construct the stadium.
The stadium will feature a 1,500 capacity seated main stand (artist impression below) located on the southern side of the pitch, with 1,500 capacity standing room along the other 3 sides with potential temporary seating being installed to increase the venue’s capacity up to 6,000 for occasional larger events.
The stadium would be constructed and designed to have theoretical scope to expand permanently up to 10,000 capacity as an all-seater stadium. (artist impression is shown below)
The stadium will be designed by Bear Stadium, an Italian based civil engineering company and constructed by Rubner Holzbau, a major European construction firm with offices across Germany, France, and Italy. Bear Stadium estimates the stadium could be constructed in as little as 6 months upon completion of the contract and planning approval.
Rubner Holzbau and Bear Stadium have previously provided assistance in expanding the home ground of Canadian Premier League side, Pacific FC, in Langford, Vancouver Island. The expansion in 2019 saw over 4,000 new seats added to the venue, with potential to add a further 2,500 seats in the future.
The venue’s pitch will use a FIFA approved supplier FieldTurf, the Canadian based company supplier synthetic surfaces to hundreds of sports teams and other facilities across the world and are one of the world leaders in the field. The stadium’s main stand will also feature a mainly wooden construction produced by Rubner Holzbau using renewably sourced wood and meeting all necessary fire safety standards.
The primary tenant of the new stadium would be Guildford City FC. The team would be moving out of their current home at Guildford Spectrum, and move into their first purpose-built stadium since leaving their Joseph’s Road ground in 1974. The stadium’s day to day operations will be managed by the University of Surrey through their Surrey Sports Park operations whose land will be where the stadium will be constructed on. Surrey Sports Park will be available to hire by the general public at limited periods throughout the year.
Located beside the A3 (see map below), parking for the new stadium will utilise the underused Guildford Park and Ride, at which bus services from the town centre operate from. In the future the stadium will also be serviced from the new Park Barn Train Station located near Royal Surrey County Hospital, an estimated 20 minutes walk from the new Guildford Stadium.
The main stadium will also include office space, a 80 spm conference hall and additional spaces that could be adjusted to suit a number of purposes. The first floor of the stand which over looks the pitch will total 500 spm of hospitality space (pictured below), a 100 sqm snack bar (pictured below), 60 spm catering area and an 200 spm hospitality lounge and restaurant area (pictured below), which may be reconfigured for various purposes.
The stadium will also enjoy a massive 130 sqm of changing room space for both home and away teams, ideal with the project’s inclusion of Premiership Rugby Union side, Harlequin FC. The Premiership rugby side has an existing presence at Surrey Sports Park and the construction of the new Guildford Stadium allows the team to build on this presence with the scope that the team’s men and women’s sides will play regular pre-season friendlies at the new ground.
As well as usage of the facilities by Guildford City FC, Harlequin FC and Surrey Sports Park, International Surrey Football will also see usage of the new premier stadium relocating the Southern Frontier Cup to the new stadium from 2022 and targeting at least 2 home friendlies a year at the ground and hosting other events when possible in collaboration with the venues various other tenants, especially Guildford City FC.
With Surrey Sports Park’s previous history of hosting international tournaments such as the 2011 Women’s Rugby World Cup and 2018 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup it is hoped the stadium could see greater usage in hosting prestigious tournaments in Surrey.