TynecastleHeart of Midlothian Football Club has announced it plans to redevelop its Tynecastle stadium and turn it into a 20,000-plus capacity stadium in time for the 2017-18 season.

Speaking to shareholders at yesterday’s annual general meeting, the club owner and chair Ann Budge revealed that the club would be building a new Main Stand and staying at its spiritual home, with the buy-up of adjoining land already in hand.

Outline plans have been drawn up and a timetable set out, with Budge hopeful that work will start next year and conclude in the 2017 close season.

Presenting in front of a packed out Gorgie Suite at Tynecastle, Mrs Budge revealed that the club completely outperformed its financial plan, with turnover standing at over 7 million pounds.

She said: “In case anyone is still in doubt, the Board has decided that Hearts future is here at Tynecastle. I am very confident that by this time next year we will be well down the road in terms of developing our new Main Stand.

“The first step in making this possible is, of course, to enlarge our footprint. We need more space.

“We are well on the way to securing the land that will make that possible – some land has already been purchased – the remainder is in the final stages of discussion.

“We have outline plans/design/building schedules; we have the backing of all of the key players. Our objective is to put the Tynecastle area well and truly back on the map… as an area of which all of Edinburgh can be proud.

“We will not be releasing any details until I am 100 per cent sure all hurdles have been cleared but I expect to be able to unveil our plans within a couple of months.”

Ms Budge added: “Off the field we have very big plans for the coming months with the Main Stand at the forefront of those but next week we will open the stunning new Memorial Garden at Tynecastle and the club Museum is scheduled to open by the end of the season and the 1914 Memorial Trust bronze statue be unveiled in the spring. This season will also see the retail side of the Hearts come back into the club following a number of years as a franchise.

“In short we are very happy where we are and where we are going but we need our wonderful supporters to continue to support us in order to be able to achieve our targets.”