New Community Football Stadium plans announced

Thurs 11th May’17 – Update:
The Trust Board has received the shareholders’ notice and information for an EGM to be held by Leamington FC Ltd on 31st May’17.
We will ballot our members giving relevant information ASAP.

Thurs 13th Apr’17 – Update:
At yesterday’s full WDC meeting the proposals were passed unanimoulsy with 3 abstensions. It was described as an “ambitious and exciting project”, “long awaited” and with “congrats to all involved”.
The next stage for WDC is to undertake a development options appraisal to confirm the feasibility of the community stadium development and produce a project delivery plan, to be subject of a further report to the WDC Executive by September 2018.
We now await notice of a Club shareholders’ meeting, hopefully open with more details than already released and a vote seeking approval to go forward with negotiations.

Sat 8th Apr’17 – Comment:
One of the Trust’s main aims is to bring the club and community closer together – the community stadium proposal appears to be an excellent opportunity to achieve this for the fans, for the club and for the community.

We recognise the hard work done by both the club and the council to get this far and we hope that our elected councillors receive the proposals positively. We hope that the Trust’s community activities have encouraged the club to be seen as a valuable and essential part of the wider community.

As part of the supporters trust movement, the Trust has access to a wide variety of experience and resources relevant to a project of such importance. As the primary supporters organisation for the club the Trust hopes to be invited to be involved in the process to bring the community stadium project to fruition and also to ensure that, should unforeseen circumstances inhibit it, suitable contingencies are in place to ensure that the club can continue to thrive whatever it’s location.

The club will be holding a shareholders meeting to approve going forward with negotiations and planning for the new stadium project. As the Trust holds shares in the club it will consult its membership on how to vote once we receive notice of the meeting and an agenda.

In order to be inclusive of all supporters of Leamington FC, it would be good if the shareholders meeting could include an open meeting.

All things considered I am cautiously very optimistic about the opportunities raised by this proposal for the future of our forward thinking community club.

Nick Rogers (Chairman – Brakes Trust).

Fri 7th Apr’17 – Announced on the Warwick District Council site:

Plans for a new community football stadium for Leamington Football Club will be proposed to Warwick District’s Councillors later this month.Proposed Leamington FC Community Stadium

Warwick District’s Full Council meeting on 12th April will be asked to give their approval to purchase the land off Europa Way to allow for the development of the community football stadium. If agreed, the Council will undertake a detailed study on the delivery options and feasibility for a new sports and community hub for the area. As well as the stadium this would include a new primary school, community hall and medical centre. Enabling development is envisaged to help fund the community stadium, which could include a new hotel, pub, convenience store, other local shops and some housing. The plans, developed by Leamington FC and the Council, would see the construction of a 5000 capacity football stadium with a 3G artificial pitch, conference facilities, a gym, bar, café and community facilities on land adjacent to Europa Way and Gallows Hill. It will provide a much needed new home and asset for Leamington FC located nearer to the town centre and public transport routes.

If the stadium plans are given the go ahead by Council members and Leamington FC’s shareholders, part of the scheme would also involve Warwick District Council acquiring Leamington FC’s current site at Harbury Lane, which has been identified by the Council as a possible location for a Gypsy and Traveller site. Leamington FC would move from Harbury Lane after the new community football stadium is completed and ready for occupation and use.

Leamington FC’s Chairman, Jim Scott said: “Leamington FC very much welcomes this key step forward. A new stadium with improved access and facilities will help us fulfil our aspirations to move into higher leagues. It will also allow us to develop and expand our presence in the community through our programme of football related activities. This will give more people the opportunity to get involved, be it as a player, spectator or user of the facilities.”

The Leader of Warwick District Council, Cllr Andrew Mobbs commented: “I’m delighted that Warwick District Council is looking at the feasibility of such an exciting project. A new stadium and sports hub for our area has the potential to be a new focal point for the community with huge benefits for the health, fitness and well-being of our residents.”

Councillor Peter Phillips, Warwick District Council’s portfolio holder for Housing and Property Services added: “We want Warwick District to be a great place to live, work and visit. This very exciting proposal not only has the potential to create much needed housing, but could also bring great benefits to the community. I very much welcome these plans and look forward to presenting this first step at the Full Council meeting.”

WDC announcement here:

Fri 7th Apr’17 – Also announced on the Club official site, together with information about an intended general meeting of club shareholders:

Warwick District Council (“WDC”) has issued a press release this afternoon relating to its proposal to buy land located off Gallows Hill / Europa Way from Warwickshire County Council and to build a community football stadium for the club on that land, a proposal that will be considered by a Full Council meeting on 12 April.

As you know, the Board have been holding discussions with WDC for a number of years on the possible relocation of the club to a site that is much closer to the town centre and has better transport links. The Board’s negotiations with WDC on the underlying principles and objectives of a possible deal have almost been concluded but some work on a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between the club and WDC setting out those principles and objectives remains outstanding. We are reasonably confident that this work will soon be finalised.

We gave a presentation to club shareholders and fans and held a general meeting on 21 December 2014, the last time we had something of significance to report on this subject. Our intention now is to call another general meeting of club shareholders to update them and fans on progress made in our negotiations with WDC. Authorisation to sign the MOU will also be sought from shareholders at the general meeting. Notices of the general meeting will be sent to shareholders in the very near future. At that time, the date of the presentation and general meeting will appear on this website.

WDC’s press release, which we have agreed, refers to a few of the basic principles of a possible deal with WDC. Details of information being provided to WDC Council members attending the Full Council meeting are viewable on WDC’s website here. Further details of the underlying principles and objectives will be presented to club shareholders and fans immediately before the general meeting.

The Board believe that this is very positive news for the club and, subject to the requisite approvals from WDC councillors and the club’s shareholders, we will now be able to move forward with this very exciting community project. Please be assured that during the proposed development we will continue to update shareholders and fans on progress and, as we have already committed to do, will obtain shareholder approval of all negotiated legally binding agreements we will need to sign.

On behalf of the club I would like to thank our external professional advisers for all the advice and assistance they have provided to help the club get to this point. FWP (architects), Murphy Salisbury (chartered accountants), Lodders (solicitors) and Bromwich Hardy (property agents) all share the Board’s vision of developing and expanding our community work and have been outstanding in providing their services. We look forward to continuing to work with them.

In closing we would also like to thank Warwick District Council for the considerable effort and time they have committed to developing these proposals for what is a hugely exciting community project that would benefit the local area and region.

Jim Scott

LFC announcement here:

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