April could be key month for City's future

GV of Worcester's council offices today, Wednesday, February 25, 2009.Credit: Lee Sanders/newsteam.co.uk25/02/09 (5078500)

GV of Worcester's council offices today, Wednesday, February 25, 2009.Credit: Lee Sanders/newsteam.co.uk25/02/09 (5078500)

First published in Sport
Last updated

APRIL could turn out to be something of a milestone in Worcester City's history.

Normally at this stage of the season, interest has dwindled because the team is safe in mid-table, troubling neither the relegation nor the promotion picture.

And barring a capitulation of epic proportions, coupled with the teams below them hitting an implausibly rich vein of form, that is again true this term.

But any danger of the current campaign petering out between now and April 26 has been ended by the not insignificant announcement of the supporters' trust's stadium planning application heading for the offices of Worcester City Council at the Guildhall.

As well as the remaining six games in Skrill North, this news should focus the minds of City fans.

It is probably fair to say that last Saturday's announcement at Aggborough would have taken plenty by surprise.

While many hours of hard work has gone on behind the scenes dotting the i's and crossing the t's, not to mention the £16,000 it has cost to reach this stage, publicly it had all gone rather quiet.

Believe it or not, it is almost a year to the day since the trust held a public consultation at Perdiswell Leisure Centre. Nearly a whole season has been completed at the club's temporary Aggborough base.

However, on Wednesday, April 16, all the efforts of the trust will come to a head when they officially submit their plans to the council.

Then, 24 hours later, fans will be able to ask questions about the trust's vision for the future at the Graeme Hick Pavilion in New Road.

It is the beginning of what the trust hope will be the start of a journey ending with a new community facility and home for the club at Perdiswell.

There is, of course, a lot of water to pass under the bridge before that can become a reality, not least the small matters of securing planning permission and finding the £2million to build.

It is also reliant on the club retaining their status in the Football Conference as that will have an impact on the amount of grants that can be applied for through organisations such as the Football Foundation.

Heeley's side look to have achieved survival this term but it will remain the objective next season and the one after that if Perdiswell remains on the table.

Grants will be needed, too, as the club don't have much money to play with.

They have a proportion left of the £1.266m originally paid to St Modwen towards infrastructure at Nunnery Way but confidentiality agreements prevent either party from disclosing the amount handed back to the club once the contract was scrapped.

The trust's plan might be successful, it might not, but this is Worcester's only realistic hope of once again returning to their home city.

If it comes off, April 2014 will be the date when it all began.

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