“It gives you goosebumps, actually, seeing it come together,” says Lee Doyle, Brentford FC Chief Executive, speaking about the development of our new stadium. Lee was speaking to the EFL website for a feature on the Club and our move to a new stadium. The feature was published last week to coincide with Brentford's Carabao Cup Quarter Final tie against Newcastle United, the biggest game to be held in the stadium so far, which The Bees won 1-0.
Lee is one of the longest serving figures around Brentford FC. Lee started with the Club when it had a fledgling Football in the Community Scheme. He now leads the Community Sports Trust, a stand-alone charity that uses the power of sport to educate, motivate and inspire people from all backgrounds. Brentford FC Community Sports Trust has established itself as a pioneering organisation for the local community and Lee told the EFL that the development of the stadium will only help that.
"When you see the new stadium and badge glowing into the night, it’s an absolute gift. We want to become a destination, and it’s all coming together. We’re extremely excited by it all.
“We’ve gone from having fewer than 10 people not so long ago to now having nearly 100 staff and volunteers. We’ve been working for a long time with this vision in mind and expanded to such an extent in the old ground that we ended up having to move out. It’s all part of a bigger picture for us; we’ve now got a base adjacent to the stadium, a two-floor building with a social, education and health hub on the bottom and offices above.
“The location is quite remarkable, it’s extremely well positioned and has a real heart and soul already. It’s been designed and shaped to be vibrant and I think it’s given people a lot of hope.
“The wider footprint of that is Gunnersbury Park, an amazing £14million facility that we’re a strategic partner in; we’ve got a partnership with the University of West London and we’ve even created a boating hub! It’s all about using local resource and engaging local people.
“The impact on local business, not only within the stadium footprint but beyond, is massive too. When it comes to creating jobs, we want to be a catalyst for opening up opportunities for employment and training, and the Trust has grown significantly in that area.”
The feature also includes words from Donald Kerr, Brentford FC Vice Chairman, who is on the Trust's Board. It originally appeared in the EFL magazine. The feature can be seen in full here.