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New £1.1 million supporters' bar at Home Park on schedule to open this summer
The Green Taverners are making their final push for investment for the ambitious project
Fans’ group the Green Taverners have launched the final push for investment for their £1.1 million supporters’ bar project at Home Park.
They already have around 85 per cent of the funding required and the two-storey building has already started to take shape.
The project is being funded entirely by the Green Taverners and investors, and will be operated by the GTs on a five-year lease from Plymouth Argyle.
Work is on schedule to be completed by the summer, in good time for the start of the 2019/20 season.
The Green Taverners’ Gary McGuire told Plymouth Live: “We have about 85 per cent of our investment. I think we need to raise probably a couple of hundred thousand pounds.
“We are meeting daily with investors and it’s ticking away nicely.
“But there could be one or two people out there who are not quite aware of the fact that it’s being built by the fans for the fans and there is investment required to get it over the line.”
He went on: “We have got some people who have invested time and materials.
“We have got others who have financially invested in it and they get a five per cent return per annum. It’s over a five-year period.
There is a minimum pledge of £1,000 but the amount can be as large as an investor wants.
McGuire’s son, Liam, added: “Our business plan isn’t something we are going to share online, but investors can come and have a look at it.
“It’s a very realistic business plan that has been built off what we currently make in a facility that isn’t anything to shout about. It’s a marquee with marquee problems.
“We are now going to have two venues over there so double the opportunity to make the money back.”
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The upstairs bar will be run in the same way as the Green Taverners Suite is at the moment.
That includes the staging of the hugely popular Fan Fests on match-days, as well as serving as a function room for birthday parties and wedding receptions.
The ground floor will be used by Argyle for their corporate facilities until the grandstand redevelopment is completed later this year.
It will then become a separate supporters’ bar with a membership.
The plan is for the Green Taverners to start taking memberships at Argyle’s home game against Rochdale on Saturday, February 23.
McGuire said: “We are up to where we want to be in the build. We are over what we would call our crucial points of the build.
“The full steel frame is in place, the concrete roof and the concrete first floor is all in place.
“This morning (Monday) we fitted the concrete stairs, which gets you from ground floor to first floor.
“We will start the block and beam floor this week and within the next three or four weeks we should be cladded in and watertight so you will see a building appear.
“At the moment you are seeing a lot of scaffolding there and a lot of steel work.
“It will start looking like a building early March. Then our fitting out will start from there, getting the bars ready, all the electrics and so on.”
McGuire confirmed the building was still on schedule to be completed by June or July.
He said: “We are well on time. I don’t want to say nothing can stop us but it shouldn’t do.
“We have got all of the materials we need to move forward.
“We have got contracts signed with local contractors so there shouldn’t be anything that waylays us, but never say never in the building game.
“If it snowed all of March, like it did last year, we could be in some trouble again.”
He added: “From where we were to where we are now, it’s great to see the building actually going up.
“The GTs build team, run by Steve Martin, is doing a hell of a job.”