We are doing all we can to support our local community through this unprecedented and challenging period. Through the ongoing work of The Arsenal Foundation and Arsenal in the Community, we continue to play our part in the local community effort and reach out to those who most need our support.
Working with Islington Council as part of the borough’s emergency response plan, The Arsenal Foundation has delivered 30 tonnes of emergency supplies into Islington. This will provide more than 60,000 free meals, as well as essential items such as sanitary and personal hygiene products to those most vulnerable in our local community. One of our players, Shkodran Mustafi, also donated 16,000 meals to this initiative and the Islington community.
The Arsenal Foundation has pledged £100,000 to local charities and organisations and redirected a further £50,000 of partnership funding with Islington Giving towards their COVID-19 Crisis Fund.
Arsenal in the Community staff have also been busy in the local community. From using club cars to transport NHS workers around the borough, to delivering over 3,000 soft drinks and 2,000 snacks to The Whittington Hospital and 1,000 face masks between The Whittington Hospital and Islington Council. Our community staff also remain in close contact with the thousands of local participants that attend Arsenal in the Community programmes every week in Islington to offer support.
We hope that the current crisis is over as soon as possible, but there is little doubt that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for very many months ahead, if not longer.
Among the immediate effects for Arsenal is The Killers concerts, booked for 5th and 6th June 2020, which have now been rescheduled for next year. As well as disappointing many music fans, the rescheduling of these concerts will impact Arsenal and the many local businesses that would have benefitted from the extra revenue – shops, pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants. These local businesses are already suffering because there have been no football matches recently. Many of these local businesses rely on the matches for their core income, as, of course, do Arsenal.
At present, Arsenal are permitted three music concerts and three non-music events each year – six in total. To help alleviate some of the financial difficulties caused by COVID-19, Arsenal would like to convert the three non-music events to three music concerts for the next three years. If this were to be allowed, there would be up to six music concerts a year. In all, there would be no increase in the number of six permitted events a year. As now, none of the concerts would be on Bank Holidays.
To stage the three additional concerts in place of the three non-music events requires a change to the planning permission for Emirates Stadium.
Over the 14 years since the stadium opened in 2006, a variety of music concerts have been held from late May to early August. These events have been well managed, and there have been few complaints about noise or other disturbance.
Before we submit a planning application to Islington Council, we want to hear what residents and local businesses have to say about our proposal.
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