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Supporters make plans for City stadium at Perdiswell
9:00am Saturday 26th January 2013 in Sport Exclusive By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
AN ambitious scheme to build a new stadium at Perdiswell has been put forward by Worcester City Football Club’s Supporters’ Trust.
The group want to construct a ground next to the leisure centre in Bilford Road for use by Worcester City, their youth teams and community sides, such as schools.
Plans, which were shown to trust members last night, are already at an advanced stage with designs ready to be submitted to Worcester City Council within days.
The ground, which could be ready by the end of 2015, would have a capacity of 4,130, including a 500-seater stand, while proposals also feature a 3G all-weather floodlit surface and maintainance of exisiting pitches.
It would be built alongside the proposed new swimming pool and gym on land next to the existing leisure entre, which is set to be demolished in 2016.
Funding for a stadium, expected to cost in the region of £2million, would come from grants, such as the Football Foundation, Football Stadia Improvement Fund and Sport England, but the trust could have to find half themselves.
They want to launch a community shares scheme, similar to that run by FC United of Manchester, to allow people to invest in the project.
Discussions have been held with the council, while the plans are also being backed by Supporters Direct, the national body overseeing supporters’ trusts.
The trust want to build the ground because they don’t believe the football club’s proposed new home at Nunnery Way will ever come to fruition.
Developers St Modwen have had planning permission for more than a year but the Birmingham-based firm have until 2017 to start work.
City are due to leave St George’s Lane, their home of 108 years, in June when it will be pulled down for housing by Careys New Homes.
A deal to share at Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough stadium from the start of next season is set to be agreed shortly.
A trust spokesman said: “This idea gives some hope to the future of Worcester City but the application is the easy bit, raising the money will be difficult.
“If the people of Worcester want to have a club they need to get behind the trust to make it happen.”
The football club have already put £1.26million towards the Nunnery Way development, in land and infrastructure costs, but would get that back if nothing has been built by the time the contract with St Modwen expires in four years’ time.
They are also set to face a six-figure capital gains tax bill in December on the sale of the Lane.
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