Oxford United are delighted to provide an update on the work undertaken thus far to progress our plans for a new home to secure the club’s long-term future.
Following the decision by Oxford County Council’s in March 2022 to authorise officers to begin negotiations with the club over the potential for a new stadium at Stratfield Brake, significant work has been undertaken to help inform these negotiations.
The overarching aim of the club has remained the same; to secure a world-class, secure and sustainable new home for OUFC and to maximise the club’s contribution to the local Oxfordshire community. This remains our priority and the need to protect the club’s 129-year history is as pressing as ever.
Since March ’22, the club has appointed a world class project team, who are experts in designing sensitive sporting establishments of which the whole community can be proud. Technical work has been on-going and has helped inform early design principles, taking into consideration the needs to embed community benefits and ecologically sensitive and carbon neutral measures within any proposals. We look forward on consulting in detail with the local community on our emerging design principles in the coming months.
Alongside this, early engagement with the local community and OUFC supporters has also taken place via online surveys and we are pleased to publish the results of these consultations. Full reports on the feedback received can be viewed on our project website www.oufcstadium.co.uk.
With over 1,200 responses received across the two surveys, we would like to thank residents and fans who participated in the surveys and provided their much valued feedback. The resident survey identified that transport and highways was the key area that residents wanted to see addressed in our proposals and we look forward to setting out our plans to address this and enable a shift to more sustainable travel measures as part of our package of measures. It should also be noted that over 70% of respondents to the resident survey identified that they would be more likely to attend OUFC matchdays should the proposals for a new stadium come forward in Kidlington.
As part of the work being undertaken, the club has also been engaging with a number of partners to help inform the proposals and our proposed mitigation packages. This has included Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council, Kidlington Parish Council, Gosford and Water Eaton Parish, The Woodland Trust, local sports clubs, local community groups and schools. The club thanks all partners for their time thus far and looks forward to continuing to work in partnership to best deliver a secure home for the club whilst also enhancing the local area.
Niall McWilliams, Chief Strategy Officer stated “We are very pleased to be able to update fans and the local community on the significant work that has been taking place behind the scenes. This has included looking at the various options available to ensure that the club can deliver on its promises to the local community and our fan community.
I am particularly pleased to publish the findings from our initial engagement which has directly helped to inform the direction in which we are going. I look forward to further direct engagement with the community in the coming months as we start formal consultation on our emerging principles early in the new year.”