Watford are close to completing a deal with a commercial partner to help fund the development of the South West Corner of Vicarage Road, the Watford Observer understands.

The identity of the partner has not been revealed but it is believed only approval from the organisation’s board is now standing in the way of the agreement being concluded. Once this has been obtained, the Hornets should be able to announce full details early next year with a view to work on the multi-million pound project then progressing relatively quickly.

Work on the development started almost five years ago but has never been completed due to lack of funds. However, chief executive Scott Duxbury has been open about his wish to proceed with the development as soon as possible and told the club’s fans’ forum in November: “We are in very advanced discussions with our partner, who at this time would like to remain anonymous.

“We would like to conclude contracts for that development by the end of November or the beginning of December, with working commencing in January or February and it being available by June or July next year.

“That would include moving the changing rooms and two new hospitality developments as well. That is our plan for this year and we are close to concluding those contracts.”

It is thought the structure will take several months to fully fit out, but once the changing rooms and press areas have been relocated in the stadium it will allow the East Stand to finally be demolished.

As well as the changing rooms and additional matchday hospitality, we understand the South West Corner will also house a sports bar, which will be open all week and provide an additional revenue stream for both the club and its partner.