Hearts owner Ann Budge has announced that the club already has over 50 per cent of the funding in place for the proposed £12 million Tynecastle stadium redevelopment.
In the first of four public consultations at the Gorgie suite on Monday evening, Budge expanded on the plans for the new main stand and the general upgrade of the stadium.
Budge revealed for the first time that the cost of the refurbishment was an estimated £11 to £12 million and admitted that details on how the remaining finance would be sourced will be disclosed in the near future.
Reiterating that the club would remain debt free in the aftermath of the project, with the financial support of the fans, including those currently paying into the Foundation of Hearts, set to utilised, Hearts hope the new ground will be ready for September 2017.
The plans also include building new UEFA-compliant changing rooms, hospitality areas, shop and ticket office. A east-facing rooftop restaurant is also planned.
Budge, who unveiled the new stadium project in last December’s AGM, said: “There will be a lot of interest and specultation, I’m sure, on how we’re going to fund it but this is not the forum to discuss that.
“The proposed plan for funding will be made available very shortly.
“This programme is going to cost around £11, £12 million although we already have more than half of that sitting there ready to go and we have a plan to make up the rest, which I’m very confident about and I’ll tell you about that shortly.
“When I took over running the club two years ago, we had a five-year plan.
“The five-year plan was about ensuring the financial stability of the club and rebuilding the Hearts brand around a set of values we could all share and be proud of.
“It was also about ensuring the supporters and the community were part of everything the club did and do in the future.
“Redeveloping the stadium was absolutely not part of that five-year plan.
“However, circumstances, performance and reaction from supporters have all been such that it become fairly clear that, if we could, we would accelerate the redevelopment plan.
“It’s about creating a new look for Tynecastle.
“I would stress that not all of the detail has been finalised yet.
“As you can imagine, there is lot a detailed discussions which going into a building of this size.
“We have an aggressive timescale.”