40 Years at Culver Road

40 Years at Culver Road

Photo Credits: David Bauckham
Celebrating 40 years at our headquarters

Sunday 11 July 2021 marked 40 years since we moved to our headquarters of Culver Road in Lancing, and to celebrate the occasion, we linked up with local football blogger, David Bauckham, to look back on its rich history.

Culver Road is also home to Lancing FC whose history at the ground goes back to 1938 when 11 youngsters began to organise regular kickabouts on the Monks Farm Recreation Ground.

Originally, Lancing played at the Croshaw ground which, in 1951, was deemed inadequate for County League football and so the club searched elsewhere for a new home. 

The club obtained a piece of land north of Culver Road which, for many years, had been covered in farmland. Negotiations began to lease part of Monks Farm Recreation Ground from the Parish Council to complete the area required for their new ground.

A public appeal to raise the necessary funds was launched as well as a loan of £1,200 from The FA, which was repaid at £90 a year for 15 years. The Supporters Club agreed to this repayment and also subsequent rent due to Monks Farm Rec.

Later that year in 1951, work began on a new seated stand, which was made ready for the 1952-53 season. The first fixture played at Culver Road between Lancing and Bexhill United was before the stand was ready, and so the players were made to get changed at Croshaw before being taxied to Culver Road.

It was an astonishing and historic fixture next up with Lancing facing Eastbourne of the Corinthian League in an FA Cup Preliminary match in which Lancing, after going 6-1 down inside 30 minutes, fought back to 6-6 in front of 1,200 spectators. 

Despite being founded in 1882, we never had a dedicated headquarters, and as we approached our centenary, we needed more than Secretary Ron Reeve’s bungalow in Shoreham. 

Lancing President, Len Ralph, heard the we needed an official HQ and so made the initial contact. Once moved in, we installed new dressing rooms and flood lights and it became a home to host County Cup games. 

In the latter part of 2003 Groundtastic magazine had reported there were plans to build a new stand in front of the existing structure but ultimately, nothing came of it. However, in April 2007 we then announced plans for a £1.35 million redevelopment of the Culver Road site including the inevitable demolition of the stand in place.

Demolition work began on 10 August 2007 with the removal of asbestos from the roof and by the following week work was well underway. The transformation was completed in June 2009, and the new facility was officially opened on the 21 August 2009.

In June 2015, work to transform the grass pitch into a 3G Artificial Turf Pitch began. This work was completed 65 days later, on the 2 September 2015, and was officially opened a few weeks later by the then FA Chairman, Greg Dyke. The installation represented a major investment in facilities and has already made a huge impact on income.

In late 2015, additional solar panels were installed on the roof of the main stand, generating further income, and contributing to power generation. This power has been put to good use, with the installation in January 2016, of new ‘state of the art’ LED floodlights, which have saved considerable power usage.

The Stadium, 3G pitch and new floodlights, all contribute to the vital additional income to the Sussex County FA, and are appreciated by current users, which include Lancing FC (Southern Combination FL), and the Sussex Disability FL.

3G Pitch Time-Lapse
Installation of 3G Pitch at our HQ (Time-lapse)
We installed a Third Generation Artificial Turf Pitch at our Headquarters in Lancing. In total the project took just sixty five days from the grass being taken up to FIFA inspecting the new artificial surface.

Our CEO, Ken Benham, had this to say: “We’re very proud to be celebrating 40 years at Culver Road. It’s incredible to look back and see what the stadium was like when we first arrived, to what it is now, with the with purpose built stand and the 3G pitch.

“Lancing FC have been great tenants over that entire period, but many more teams have also benefited from the developments with cup finals, league fixtures and training sessions being held here over the years.

“The function rooms inside the building have also enabled us to engage more with the community and lay on many more football courses to help develop the game.

“We look forward to the next 40 years and looking to improve not only Culver Road but the entire game across Sussex!”

For further information about Culver Road and bookings please contact:

T: 01903 768575
E: Stadium@SussexFA.com