Work starts on Cambridge City’s new stadium in Sawston
After an eight-year wait, work has finally started on Cambridge City’s new home.
It may be just mounds of earth on the access, but the significance and symbolism of preparatory work on the Lilywhites’ new ground at Sawston should not be understated.
They moved out of their former Milton Road ground in the summer of 2013, and have had plenty of planning and legal obstacles to jump ever since, with two groundshares – at St Ives and Histon – in the meantime.
But after appointing ATB Sports Solutions as principal contractors before Christmas, the first work has begun on the site near Dales Manor Business Park.
“It was the summer of 2013 that we moved out of our old Milton Road ground,” said City chairman Kevin Satchell.
“This has been very high on the minds of everyone associated with Cambridge City, getting a new stadium built.
“It’s taken a long while to get to this stage, and it is very symbolic that we are finally making a start on the physical aspect of it.
“There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes over the years to prepare for this, planning applications, etc. This is the very first part of getting the stadium built.
“I think it is quite exciting – it depends who you are and how close you are to the football club I suppose.
“People associated with the club who were never quite sure this was ever going to happen always felt we might end up forever groundsharing, and I’ve always tried to assure people that wouldn’t be the case.
“In a way, it takes a bit of pressure off me as well, as hopefully no longer will we get asked questions about when is the stadium going to start, or will it ever happen, because it is going to happen and it’s started. It’s both exciting and relieving pressure-wise as well.”
It is very early stages with just enabling work being carried out, and several big months ahead.
There is no time frame in place, with the building expected to continue through to next winter.
“It’s probably going to take the majority of this year to complete the work but it has to start somewhere, and this is it,” said Satchell.
“It’s great news for the club.”
With no action in the Isthmian League, North Division since the start of November, and murmurings that the season will be cancelled, the news will be a lift for City fans in what has been a difficult year for all.
Satchell said: “The amount of games we’ve played in the last year is not many at all – it’s nothing like the amount we would normally play.
“There are a lot of people, I’m included, who love to go out and watch their football and see their team win. It’s part of your life and suddenly that is taken away from you. I know there are far more important things going on at the moment than football, but it should give anyone that’s interested a boost to see this is going on.
“It’s something to look forward towards at the end of the year, finally moving into a new home.”