Brighton and Hove Albion have £55m student flats and hotel goal

Posted On 10 Oct 2013 at 9:35 pm

Brighton and Hove Albion want to open a hotel next to the American Express Community Stadium at Falmer.

And they want to build up to 850 student flats on neighbouring land as part of a £55 million investment.

They hope that their plans will provide a financial lift to support the club’s ambitions on the pitch while creating more than 200 jobs.

The income stream should help because the Financial Fair Play rules have taken effect in the Championship this season, requiring clubs to balance their books.

The 120-room hotel would be on a pocket of land behind the East Stand while the student flats would be on land next to the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA).

Albion chief executive Paul Barber said: “We are constantly looking at ways we can continue to grow the club, its revenue streams and ways to help progress our ambition of the Albion playing at the top level – and Martin and his team have put together outline plans for the two developments.”

Director Martin Perry said: “This would be a fantastic boost for the club, the area and the whole city.

“We’re still at an early stage and we have to prove the financial viability of the proposals but if it goes ahead this plan represents another huge inward investment into the city of Brighton and Hove.

“It will help us develop our revenue streams while helping to reduce the desperate demand on the housing stock in this city.

“The two developments will also create more than 200 jobs and take the club’s investment in Sussex to more than £200 million.”

The scheme is expected to be discussed by the Brighton and Hove City Council Policy and Resources Committee at Hove Town Hall next Thursday (17 October).

The committee, made up of senior councillors, is expected to tell officials to open talks with the club about leasing the land.

The club will then have to apply for planning permission and prove that the scheme is economically viable and will have a positive impact on the area.

Albion are hopeful that they can prove the feasibility of both projects.

Mr Barber said: “These developments will have a huge impact on the local economy but will also help the club face the economic challenges of Financial Fair Play.

“They will provide us with additional extra income streams and having the hotel on site will really benefit our conferencing, banqueting and events business.

“Being able to accommodate guests overnight is a key factor in this business sector and this would enable us to significantly strengthen and build our non-match-day events revenue through the stadium.

“Just as we want build our fan base, we also aim to attract new business in this way because the stronger our revenue streams, the more competitive we can be in the transfer market and ultimately on the pitch.

“The more creative we are and the more we look to build these types of additional revenues, the less we have to keep relying on our loyal supporters.

“Our fans have been incredible in understanding and embracing the challenge of Financial Fair Play and as part of our commitment to the fans we are doing everything we can to maximise extra revenues and keep our cost base as efficient as possible.”

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