Date:Wednesday December 13 2006
TrustSTFC have today published a document outlining proposals for redeveloping the County Ground as a Community Sports facility, including a redeveloped 20,000 capacity stadium (with the potential for a hotel and conference centre), community sports facilities, social housing and commercial facilities all built into the plan.
Andy Ratcliffe, TrustSTFC Communications Director commented, 'This is a discussion document, not a blueprint for a developer. We see this as a proposal for a partnership between Swindon Borough Council (SBC), the residents both local to the County Ground (CG) and Swindon-wide, and also the existing sports clubs that currently occupy the site. We have researched and learnt from the experiences of other stadium developments such as Leyton Orient and Bristol Rovers.
The proposals have been generated in consultation with key stakeholders, such as SBC - including Cabinet Members and ward councillors, local residents` groups, the Member of Parliament and also sports clubs, including Swindon Town (STFC).
The potential benefits of the scheme are many. There is an opportunity to improve the town`s leisure facilities at a time when the futures of the Oasis and Link centres are under examination as part of the council`s Leisure Strategy Review. Local residents would enjoy new amenities on their doorstep, along with enhanced open spaces. The facilities of the current cricket and athletics clubs would be improved. There is also the prospect of increased long term revenue generation for the football club as well as a superior stadium for the fans that would also attract other promotions such as concerts and other public events.
Paul Davis, TrustSTFC chairman said 'We believe these proposals offer an exciting and innovative approach to the issue of the County Ground redevelopment that will bring real benefits to everyone in Swindon, not just the football club.' The scheme has been designed to be self-funding, with commercial development on the CG footprint providing the capital for the sports hub. The council also has the opportunity to develop adjacent sports facilities, perhaps using potential receipts from the sale of the Oasis site.
Alan Hayward, TrustSTFC Board Member added 'We have the rare opportunity to develop a landmark site that would be an impressive gateway to the town centre and would compliment the efforts of the council and the New Swindon Company in regenerating the heart of Swindon. In this proposal we have options for the use of the CG footprint that do not rely on the sale of council assets for commercial gain.' He concluded 'The framework complies with government`s planning and transport guidelines for sustainable development.'
Please click here to visit the Trust website and view the full proposal documents.
Click here for images of a proposed development and a video outlining the proposals.
Date:Wednesday December 13 2006
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