New lease saves Millwall’s future at Den



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Millwall to secure new lease deal Image: The Den, TheLostBoy, CC BY 4.0

EFL Championship football club Millwall FC has reached a “landmark development agreement” with Lewisham Council granting the club a 999-year lease for its home ground in south-east London.

The BBC said the deal means the club will remain at The Den after years of uncertainty about its future in south Bermondsey.

The agreement allows the club to move forward with its exciting ambitions for the redevelopment of the land surrounding The Den, bringing to life the club’s long-term plans of the wider regeneration of New Bermondsey, which includes residential development.

The Lions previously said the club was considering moving away from its base. The current lease has 120 years remaining but restricts potential development.

In 2017, Lewisham Council abandoned a controversial compulsory purchase order, which the club said would have jeopardised its future.

Development proposals drawn up in 2019 by AFL Architects entail incremental, phased expansion of the existing venue, up to a total maximum capacity of 34,000 seats, built as additional upper tiers behind the existing seating bowl.

This would equip the stadium with the amenities required to measure up to Premier League standards and include additional media and player accommodation, sports hall, gym and a local café. It will also provide an enhanced match day experience to supporters. The present capacity of The Den stands at 20,146.

The club said the new lease agreement ensures it remains at the heart of its local community and extends to providing exciting opportunities to enhance the supporters’ matchday experience, develop new and existing revenue streams, and fulfil its huge potential on non-matchdays.

Millwall Football Club Chairman, James Berylson, said: “Alongside the significant new opportunities for Millwall, I see important new benefits for Lewisham and its residents. A new community with upgraded accommodation will generate higher living standards and a better quality of life. Greater prosperity will also increase returns to the Borough through new commercial, social and employment opportunities.

“This landmark decision by Lewisham Council secures a long-term future for Millwall in the borough and, equally importantly, protects and enhances the Millwall Community Trust and its vital charitable activities in south-east London. Together with Lewisham Council, we can now start putting in place plans for improving The Den and its facilities, thereby enhancing spectator experience.”

Mayor of Lewisham, Brenda Dacres, added: “We are delighted to have reached a positive outcome, with a new, long-term lease that secures Millwall’s future in the borough. This has been a long process, and I’m pleased we’ve been able to work together to secure the relocation of facilities for the Millwall Community Trust and support our shared ambitions for this part of Lewisham.

“I look forward to working with Millwall Football Club on their plans for the land around the Stadium, to unlock much needed homes as well as new leisure and community spaces.

“Both Millwall Football Club and the Millwall Community Trust contribute immensely to our local community and provide life-changing opportunities for so many in our borough. We look forward to continuing to support their important work.”

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