Evo-Stik League Southern Leamington could be moving into brand new community stadium after teaming up with their local authority.
The promotion-chasing Brakes will find out next Wednesday night if their joint proposal with Warwick District Council to build a 5,000 capacity stadium as a new sports and community hub for the area gets the go-ahead following a vote by local councillors.
If their local authority partners are given the green light to acquire the club’s current ground at Harbury Lane and purchase land at Europa Way for the project, fans can look forward to a new home nearer the town centre featuring the latest artificial turf surface, conference facilities, a gym, bar, café and other community facilities.
The stadium would also be at the centre of its own mini community under the proposals which would see it funded with a number of possible developments including a new primary school, community hall, hotel, medical centre, pub, local shops and some housing.
Leamington chairman Jim Scott recommended the plans to fans and shareholders in a lengthy statement on Friday, boosting hopes for the club’s long term future as Paul Holleran’s second-placed side prepared to host Kings Langley in the EVO-STIK League Southern’s top flight on the day leaders Chippenham could put the title beyond their reach with victory at Hitchin.
His statement on the Warwickshire club’s website read: “The board have been holding discussions for a number of years on the possible relocation of the club to a site that is much closer to the town centre and has better transport links.
“The board’s negotiations with WDC (Warwick District Council) on the underlying principles and objectives of a possible deal have almost been concluded but some work on a Memorandum of Understanding between the club and WDC setting out those principles and objectives remains outstanding. We are reasonably confident that this work will soon be finalised.
“We gave a presentation to club shareholders and fans and held a general meeting on 21 December 2014, the last time we had something of significance to report on this subject. Our intention now is to call another general meeting of club shareholders to update them and fans on progress made in our negotiations with WDC.
“Authorisation to sign the MOU will also be sought from shareholders at the general meeting. Notices of the general meeting will be sent to shareholders in the very near future. At that time, the date of the presentation and general meeting will appear on this website.
“WDC’s press release, which we have agreed, refers to a few of the basic principles of a possible deal with WDC. Further details of the underlying principles and objectives will be presented to club shareholders and fans immediately before the general meeting.
“The board believe that this is very positive news for the club and, subject to the requisite approvals from WDC councillors and the club’s shareholders, we will now be able to move forward with this very exciting community project.
“Please be assured that during the proposed development we will continue to update shareholders and fans on progress and, as we have already committed to do, will obtain shareholder approval of all negotiated legally binding agreements we will need to sign.”
Thanking the club’s partners, he added: “On behalf of the club I would like to thank our external professional advisers for all the advice and assistance they have provided to help the club get to this point.
[Architects] FWP, [chartered accountants] Murphy Salisbury, [solicitors] Lodders and [property agents] Bromwich Hardy all share the board’s vision of developing and expanding our community work and have been outstanding in providing their services. We look forward to continuing to work with them.
“In closing we would also like to thank Warwick District Council for the considerable effort and time they have committed to developing these proposals for what is a hugely exciting community project that would benefit the local area and region.”