Preston North End announce £250,000 Deepdale investment - and how Ryan Lowe's transfer kitty will be boosted by £1.5m this summer

Preston North End will be spending money both on and off the pitch this summerPreston North End will be spending money both on and off the pitch this summer
Preston North End will be spending money both on and off the pitch this summer | Getty Images
Preston North End will be spending money both on and off the pitch this summer

Peter Ridsdale has revealed Deepdale will be illuminated by new floodlights next season as the club continue to invest in the infrastructure at Deepdale.

But the Preston North End director admitted plans to install undersoil heating at PR1, along with a new state-of-the-art Desso pitch, will be put back until next year as he aims to provide boss Ryan Lowe with a sizeable transfer kitty going into this summer’s transfer window.

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That work on the Deepdale playing surface, which the club need to do simultaneously, will cost in the region of £1.5m. But speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire, Ridsdale said he’d currently rather put that money into squad strengthening this close season.

Speaking about this summer’s investment in the ground and what fans might notice when they return next season, the PNE director said: ‘We’re about to invest in, I was about to say new floodlights and people are saying “they’re iconic, why are you changing the floodlights?” We’re not, we’re changing the bulbs - so we’re going LED floodlights, but that’s another £250,000 investment this summer. So the lights will be brighter than they’ve been.

‘We have plans, as soon as possible, and it’s probably going to be next summer now, to do undersoil heating and a Desso pitch. It’s one of those crazy things, if we did undersoil heating this summer in advance of a Desso, that heat would crumble the grass we’ve got because it’s currently not a Desso pitch, it’s a sand-based pitch. So you can’t do undersoil heating in isolation of doing the Desso as well.

‘Desso is part plastic - but that’s £1m, a Desso pitch, and undersoil heating is probably £400,000-£500,000 and we’ve only got so much money and I’m currently choosing to use that to strengthen the squad.

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‘But our plans are floodlights this summer, undersoiling heating and a Desso as soon as we can, and that will have to be done together to protect the pitch. So there’s a lot of investment going into the infrastructure of the football club and a lot of things we have done already are starting to bear fruit.’

Last year, PNE spent money on the Alan Kelly Town End roof, while the Gentry Bar opened for the very first time. Investment in Lowe’s squad is needed this summer after the Lilywhites finished the 2023-24 Championship season in 10th place.

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