Hearts fans vote to help pay for new main stand

Tynecastle Stadium
Hearts hope to replace their old main stand

Fans group the Foundation of Hearts has voted overwhelmingly in favour of helping to fund the Tynecastle club's new £11m main stand.

That is despite the result being an eight-month delay in Hearts passing into fan ownership.

Present owner Ann Budge had proposed delaying the repayment of her £2.5m investment to help fund the project.

Following a vote of foundation members, only 43 were against the proposal and 3,790 in favour.

Hearts said on their website: "We are absolutely delighted that the foundation members have given such a resounding vote in favour of the offer from Ann Budge.

"This significant milestone on the road to the 'new' Tynecastle once more demonstrates our collective strength."

Hearts hope to fund the new stand via £3m from club reserves, £2.5m from benefactor contributions, £0.5m from commercial contributions, which leaves a shortfall of £6m once the club adds a contingency for an increase in costs.

The Scottish Premiership club hope to build up further reserves and launch a new debenture scheme, but the delay of up to two years in the Foundation of Hearts buying Budge's stake will allow funds to go directly into the club in the meantime.

"Assuming contributions continued at today's levels, majority ownership would pass to FOH only eight months later than originally envisaged," Hearts have stated.

Full planning permission is still required from City of Edinburgh Council, but Hearts have already planned out the progress of the two-year project that will result in a stadium with a capacity up to 21,000.

To prepare for the building of the new stand, the buildings behind the current stand - the administration block, the shop and nursery - would be knocked down, with temporary facilities being provided during construction.

The temporary buildings will be occupied in October, with the demolition beginning the following month.

Construction of the new stand will start over and behind the current stand during next season before being completed during the 2017 close season.

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