Club future under threat

STOWMARKET Town Football Club's future is being threatened by uncertainty surrounding the potential development of its home ground, its president said today.

STOWMARKET Town Football Club's future is being threatened by uncertainty surrounding the potential development of its home ground, its president said today.

Stowmarket Church Charity wants to build new homes on land it owns at the club's Greens Meadow base.

A bid has been submitted for inclusion in the next local development framework, which is due to be completed by the end of the year.

But until this is determined, the club will not know where its long-term future lies.


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It has been leasing the land from the church charity and Mid Suffolk District Council since 1983, but this agreement expires in 12 years time.

President John Bultitude wants to secure a longer lease on the land so the club can move forward.

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He said: "After 21 years of battling, we're in a bigger uncertainty now than we ever have been.

"We've been held back for the 15 years because of the short lease and the football club has suffered from it.

"If we get a 99-year lease we could put our plans for the club's future into action. We've applied for various grants but can't get any because of the short lease."

Mr Bultitude revealed plans to build a new clubhouse behind one of the goals if the current building is demolished.

A team of five volunteers have been gathered to look into future funding avenues, but no money can be secured until the future of the land is decided.

Colin Wright, of the church charity, revealed it plans to build on the current car park and clubhouse, although its plans do not include any part of the football pitch.

He said: "We're not aiming to develop to the point where the football club can't play football there.

"If we can come to some agreement where they can stay there for a long period and we can sell the land, everyone will be happy.

"The charity is required to make the most of its assets and that's what we're trying to do. As the land next door has been developed for new homes, we hope there's potential for more development in the area."

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