Dockers unveil plans for development of Chadfields ground

TILBURY Football Club have unveiled the first glimpse of their emerging proposals to deliver a new purpose-built Community Stadium and clubhouse for the football club.

The proposed major upgrade to Tilbury FC’s facilities will enable the oldest football club in Thurrock to secure its long-term future.

Formed in 1889 by the workers of Tilbury Docks, Tilbury FC is one of the oldest clubs in the country and its origins pip neighbours Grays Athletic by just a year. They have been at their present ground, Chadfields, since 1947 and this move will allow them to stay at their historic home but in a modern new stadium.

Further details will be released as part of the public consultation process in July, but the emerging proposals seek to deliver:

  • A new purpose-built Community Stadium with associated car parking
  • A new clubhouse with supporting facilities such as a gym, changing rooms, bar / cafe and multipurpose hall
  • Opportunity for the all-weather pitch and clubhouse facilities to be open to use by the general public.

Tilbury FC will hold a public consultation event prior to a pre-season friendly in July to display the emerging proposals and invite local residents and fans to provide their feedback to help evolve the final proposals which will be submitted to Thurrock Council.

The development scheme is being led by Apex Platinum Investments, one of whose directors is local boy-made-good Phillip Baron-Wright, owner of the Orsett Hall Hotel among other properties in Thurrock.

Ben Pearce of Apex Platinum Investments, commented: “We’re Tilbury through and through so we’re delighted to be working with Tilbury FC to provide a new Community Stadium and supporting facilities to help the club get to the next level.

“Our proposed upgrades will deliver a fantastic boost to the local community and we hope it will encourage more and more fans to get behind The Dockers.”

Danny Nash

Club chairman Danny Nash said: “In Tilbury we’re proud of our rich history and our proposal to invest in new facilities will mean we can offer a bright future for our fans and the wider community who will also be able to enjoy them.

“These proposals are a real open goal for Tilbury, and we hope that the whole community can get behind our exciting plans.”

Tilbury’s ambitions to redevelop or move from Chadfields are deep-seated. In the early 2000s they announced plans were on the table to move from Chadfields to the neighbouring North Field, which the club also owns, to a new ground to be built by Weston Homes but the plans failed to materialise.

Across the borough there has been movement for other non-League clubs. Aveley moved to a new purpose-built ground at Parkside in 2017 after selling their ground at Mill Field, while Grays Athletic have been wandering around the region for several seasons after being moved out of their ground in the heart of Grays when the owners sold it for development. They currently play at Aveley.

Thurrock FC, which has a ground close to Junction 30 of the M25 in Purfleet, folded at the end of the 2017-18 season after owner Tom South was unable to find a buyer and East Thurrock United, who play at Rookery Hill in Corringham, are currently working on development plans for a new ground, with a deal close to being struck with prospective purchasers.