Revamp for stadium
Hearts to build new main stand at Tynecastle
Hearts intends to demolish the main stand at Tynecastle and extend capacity to 20,000 in a firm commitment to remaining at the stadium.
The club’s owner Ann Budge announced the development plan at the annual general meeting attended by some 300 shareholders.
Mrs Budge has previously described the 101-year-old stand as “not fit for purpose”, and believes the club is denying itself extra income from better hospitality boxes and function rooms. The new stand would add a further 2,500 seats.
Hearts are in the process of buying land around Tynecastle to enable the work to proceed with an initial sizeable purchase to be completed today.
The club owner told the agm: “We are well ahead of our five year plan and our future looks good. We continue doing the right things and doing them well.
“We currently sit in 3rd place in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership and as we have said, our target is to be in the top six this season.
“We won the Championship at the first time of asking and by a very handsome margin, the team continues to perform well and we have added some real quality players to our squad.
“Financially, we completely out performed our financial plan and our turnover has risen from £5,098m to £7,077 and a half million pounds improvement on the bottom line and this does not include the donations from the Foundation of Hearts.
“Having lost £994,000 previously our losses are down to £415,000 in the past year and we are well on the way to breaking even or better this season, again, ahead of our schedule.
“In case anyone is still in doubt, the board has decided that Hearts’ future is here at Tynecastle. I am very confident that by this time next year we will be well down the road in terms of developing our new Main Stand.
“The first step in making this possible is, of course, to enlarge our footprint. We need more space.
“We are well on the way to securing the land that will make that possible – some land has already been purchased – the remainder is in the final stages of discussion.
“We have outline plans/design/building schedules; we have the backing of all of the key players. Our objective is to put the Tynecastle area well and truly back on the map…as an area of which all of Edinburgh can be proud.
“We will not be releasing any details until I am 100% sure all hurdles have been cleared but I expect to be be able to unveil our plans within a couple of months.
“We are so proud of our new three year association with Save the Children and our introduction of the Living Wage at Tynecastle.
“Off the field we have very big plans for the coming months with the main stand at the forefront of those but next week we will open the stunning new Memorial Garden at Tynecastle and the club Museum is scheduled to open by the end of the season and the 1914 Memorial Trust bronze statue be unveiled in the spring. This season will also see the retail side of the Hearts come back into the club following a number of years as a franchise.
“In short we are very happy where we are and where we are going but we need our wonderful supporters to continue to support us in order to be able to achieve our targets.”