Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club Marine have announced plans to delay the planned stadium upgrade until the summer of 2019, coinciding with the Mariners’ 125th anniversary.

Club officials took the decision following a review of requirements and timing for the application of grant funding towards the cost of the project and also considered that more time was needed for the club to raise their portion of costs not covered by grant support. The building work will now take place in May and June 2019, 125 years after Marine was founded by South Road traders at a meeting in the former Marine Hotel [Now Champs Bar] in the summer of 1894.

The latest upgrade to the Marine Travel Arena announced towards the end of last year will see the demolition of the old timber building, built in 1929, situated behind the stand. The scheme submitted to Sefton Council planners by Crosby Architect Tony Diaz Associates includes a complete re-modelling of the College Road facilities behind the main stand to include in the new building units a match day snack bar, stewards control room, spectator first aid treatment room, club shop, match day office, kit store and a new spectator hospitality room.

Marine Chairman Paul Leary said: “Having considered all of the information and documentation required to be provided to the Football Foundation we decided to defer the project to 2019 and this will allow all contractors quotations, planning and funding details to be properly supplied when we submit our application for grant support this summer.

“To reschedule the building work to coincide with our 125th anniversary adds further interest in the project and gives us more time to raise the £20-£25k balance of funds needed. So far we have raised £18k, which is fantastic, towards our portion of the scheme cost of about £40k.”

Leary added: “I appeal therefore to the many friends and supporters of Marine to help us with this important project that will transform the front of our stadium. As a football club we work really hard with our community partners and I appeal to as many people as possible to help us make this scheme happen.”

If anyone would like to make a donation to the appeal then cheques should be made payable to “Marine FC Ground Appeal” and should be sent to Secretary Richard Cross at 74 Elvington Road, Hightown, Liverpool L38 9AN. Alternatively, donations can be made securely on line by accessing www.groundappeal.co.uk and clicking on donate.

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