Lewes Football Club has announced major plans to take its home ground up to a higher standard, both on and off the pitch.
The football club has been playing at the Dripping Pan since 1885, making it one of the oldest constantly-used grounds in the world. But it’s showing its age.
The club plans to restart the project to build a new club house and changing room block on the site of the existing portacabin – planning permission for this was obtained a few years ago. Meanwhile, the existing Rook Inn bar will also be remodelled as a fast-service sports bar on matchdays and as a venue for the rest of the week, with events such as Comedy Nights as well as the existing hugely successful Quiz Nights.
To enable this development work to begin, the club is bringing its bar provision in-house and has co-opted on to the Board the highly experienced venue manager Steve Keegan who will work with the Board as a non-executive Director to develop the necessary business and staffing plan to bring the plans to fruition.
Steve commented: “I’m a massive football fan but also a massive fan of what this club is doing. I want to bring all my energy and experience of developing venues to this amazing community-owned club. Funnily enough, I first heard about Lewes FC thanks to its annual Artists United art show and not via the football side. I love what they are doing in the community and I think I can amplify that.”
Lewes FC Chairman, Stuart Fuller added: “For the past 10 years, we’ve been very fortunate to be able to call on members of the club’s local Bonfire Society, Southover, to man the bar. But this next phase will involve a level of development that now needs to be directly managed. We’d like to thank Johnny Marshall and all the amazing Southover members that have served up the pints for so long.”
And football facilities will also be receiving an upgrade. The club is preparing planning and funding applications to lay a new pitch for the 2020-21 season along with a new set of floodlights – the current pylons are nearly fifty years old having been funded by a series of gigs at Lewes Town Hall in the late 60s, which included Pink Floyd.