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Fulham FC’s new Riverside stand may soon take another step forward

last updated Wednesday 24th April 2024, 3:48 PM

Fulham Football Club

Fulham FC’s new Riverside stand may soon take another step towards completion as the Premier League club applies for a string of licences associated with the scheme. Hammersmith and Fulham Council is next week (April 30) to decide on requests for amenities including a new 13-bedroom hotel and a spa café to form part of the revamped Craven Cottage stand.

Once finished, the redevelopment will increase the Riverside stand’s capacity to approximately 8,000 spectators, taking the total for the West London stadium to around 28,500. It will also contain bars, restaurants and conference spaces, as well as facilities such as the hotel. A spokesperson said areas will open up during the course of the 2024/25 season.

Next week’s Licensing Sub-Committee meeting is due to decide on seven separate applications for the stand; the boutique hotel, the spa cafe, a members club, and for licences for four floors in the stand itself, from basement to second. These are to be operated for a range of purposes, including a restaurant and the Chairman's Suite.

Documents submitted ahead of the meeting detail how the hotel will sit in the northwest corner, and will include a penthouse suite and external terrace of the fourth floor.

A number of objections have been filed against the proposed licences, primarily due to the suggested opening hours and times at which alcohol can be served. For some of the applications, such as the spa cafe, this is as early as 8am, with several running until 11.00pm or later. The hotel would operate 24/7, though would restrict alcohol to residents and ‘bona fide guests’ on the premises.

One objector wrote: “This is a football club, not a multipurpose arena. Sales of alcohol on such a scale (so many applications) would result in disruption to normally very tolerant neighbours, braying drinkers passing through our streets late at night and spoil residents’ enjoyment of the river.”

Another wrote they are generally supportive of the club, with fans normally arriving and leaving quickly. They added however that with the addition of alcohol venues, “this could be very different”.

“Will these licensing hours only apply on match days or is the plan for facilities be open on non-match days to fans and /or the public longer term?”

In the latest update on the stand issued earlier this year, Shahid Khan, Fulham Chairman, said: “My vision for the New Riverside Stand was to provide our fans, and our neighbourhood, with a destination that would continue to honour our history and tradition at Craven Cottage every day of the year, but especially so on matchdays with a premium experience that will be unlike anything in football, here in London or elsewhere.

"In short, today isn’t about finally being able to offer a higher standard of hospitality options that have essentially been unavailable to Fulham supporters until now. It’s about offering the ultimate matchday hospitality experience in the world that will also benefit the long-term promise and future of Fulham Football Club. The New Riverside Stand at Craven Cottage will make it possible.”

The redevelopment of the Riverside stand has been in the pipeline since 2013, with construction beginning in 2019 after Hammersmith and Fulham Council approved planning permission. Craven Cottage has been the club’s home ground since 1896.

Source Ben Lynch at MyLondon News
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