Plans for a new and improved football stadium for Worcester City Football Club have been approved by the council.
The football club in Worcester sold its current stadium, so the land could be used for a housing development. The club has until summer in 2013 to vacate their current stadium. If they do not move in time, they could face a heavy fine of up to £500,000. Speaking of the development, Anthony Hampson, Director of the football club expressed: “I’m delighted, it’s a major step forward for the survival of the club.”
The plans for the new 3000 seated stadium will include commercial properties, such as; a hotel, three office buildings, restaurants and a showroom for cars and motorcycles. “These things don’t happen overnight, plans will be phased in over time – the club will not want to run before it can walk,” Mr Hampson added.
Although the application for the new stadium was originally submitted in 2008, the council reached a decision only last week. 11 councillors voted, with a six to five majority win. A spokesman for the council, Mr Coleman put across: “On balance the positive elements of the development were sufficient to outweigh negative environmental impacts and other areas of conflict. It remained to be seen whether the club could afford to relocate and an update would be provided at the committee.”
However, not everyone it seems is a Worcester City supporter, as the council received 15 letters of objection, but 43 letters were received supporting the development.
Speaking of the development and support, Mr Hampson, stated: “We were near bankruptcy at one stage but we’ve managed to swing the situation round and make the club break even and invest in the playing squad as well. We’ve got a lot of support in the city for the club that we didn’t have before.”
The club has also received criticism from fellow city teams, Worcestershire County Cricket Club (CCC) and Worcester Warriors, who already offer office space and conferencing facilities. However, the football club’s Chairman, Dave Boddy believes there is enough demand for both to achieve success: “Up until very recently the city was sadly lacking those facilities and we will probably be looking at different markets.”
“With us being a mile between each of the motorway junctions there is a lot of business coming in from outside of the city which the rugby club already benefits from. We believe that there is plenty of room for our development to run alongside the other facilities,” Mr Doddy added.
Breaking News – RBS to Axe 3,500 Jobs