Leeds United were planning on increasing the capacity of Elland Road to 50k but following further investment from the 49ers they will now look at a capacity of 55k, by developing two of the stands in a staggered approach.
In related news, Leeds will no longer be purchasing the Matthew Murray site for their new training ground, and for now will continue on at Thorp Arch.
Leeds United no longer planning to buy the Matthew Murray site for their training ground, as expanding Elland Road to 55,000 is the more immediate priority.— Graham Smyth (@GrahamSmyth) June 15, 2021
To that end they've proposed a switch in site for the Parklife scheme.https://t.co/U8itIRn67y#lufc
The ‘Parklife’ program - which is funded by the Football Association, the Premier League, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England and the Football Foundation, with the aim of providing all-weather facilities - was originally going to put their community project at Fullerton Park. This Parklife community facility is now expected to move to the Matthew Murray site in Holbeck, while Leeds are expected to purchase land at Fullerton Park making Leeds’ stadium development easier while still being involved with providing the public facilities, albeit at a changed location.
From the Yorkshire Evening Post: “A report from the director of city development to the council’s executive board suggests that keeping the initiative at Fullerton Park would ‘negatively impact Leeds and their ambition for a 55,000 seater stadium and potentially also impact the existing Park and Ride, which would have lost up to 90 spaces as part of the Parklife development.”
Councillor James Lewis, leader of the council, has said they are fine with the changes of plans.
“The fantastic return of Leeds United to the Premier League has proved to be a great boost to not just fans, but also the city as a whole.
“We remain committed to working with the club constructively in terms of any ambitions they might have in terms of increasing the capacity of Elland Road in the future, which is why following discussions, we agreed to look at what options could be available to move the proposed Parklife project from Fullerton Park to another location.
“The Parklife community sporting hub remains a key part of our aim to ensure that a range of top class facilities are available in south Leeds, and we were committed to ensure that as part of any assessment work in terms of finding a new location for the project, that no facilities would be lost to those proposed for Fullerton Park.
“I am pleased to say that this is the case, and we are confident that the Matthew Murray site will be an ideal location for Parklife, a view which is shared by local stakeholders, the Football Foundation, Leeds United and our partners at the NHS.
Leeds have agreed to cover approximately £325k for the cost of the design fees incurred by the suggested move.