THE company masterminding the £1billion regeneration of the area around The Den has hit back at claims its plans could damage the Millwall Community Scheme (MCS).
The community scheme's current base, the Lions Centre on Bolina Road, will be demolished as part of the Surrey Canal Project.
But the developer Renewal wants to raise £40million to develop an indoor sports centre nearby and says the community scheme will have full access to it.
However, the land is owned by Lewisham Council and so Millwall would have to enter into a tender process against the developers to be awarded the contract to run the site by the local authority.
Chief executive Andy Ambler has said that the club stands little chance of competing – and thus would lose a potential revenue stream in the future.
But Renewal have expressed doubts about how the Lions could profit from the site and the community scheme, which has an autonomous board of trustees and is independent of the club.
And director Mushtaq Malik told NewsAtDen that the MCS will prosper once the new facilities have been built.
"The community scheme do an impressive job and Renewal has no interest in running their services and provisions," he said.
"The issue is not about who will run the community scheme, as they will continue to do so.
"The site of the community scheme is owned by Lewisham and they have a relatively short lease from the local authority.
"Our scheme envisages the replacement of the current facilities by the new comprehensive sports facilities, to which the community scheme will have full access.
"The current facilities will require substantial investment to keep them up to standard and we have proposed brand new facilities for the community scheme as part of the wider sports facilities offered in the regeneration.
"The complex will incorporate a 3,000-seat multi-purpose sports arena for league and competition matches as well as offices, classrooms and café and restaurant facilities.
"With access to new facilities the community scheme will have the opportunity to increase the number of people they can work with and will look forward to a secure future without the danger of being shut down.
"The wider Surrey Canal sports facilities will attract 11,000 people every week, so the community scheme could increase their outreach into the communities of Lewisham and Southwark.
"As a result of our development we see every chance of the community scheme prospering and thriving in the future and we are looking forward to working with them in the years ahead.
"We see this as a great opportunity for the club, the community scheme and the local area."