Clubs could get new football grounds

By Dave GooderhamTHE future of football in Suffolk could be changed forever as the drive for two state-of-the-art stadiums gathers pace.Officials at Bury Town and Haverhill Rovers have revealed plans to apply for Government grants to help build new football stadiums to act as a focal point for soccer in both towns.

By Dave Gooderham

THE future of football in Suffolk could be changed forever as the drive for two state-of-the-art stadiums gathers pace.

Officials at Bury Town and Haverhill Rovers have revealed plans to apply for Government grants to help build new football stadiums to act as a focal point for soccer in both towns.

The projects would encompass junior and women's football and would allow their current grounds to be made available for new homes or increased public car parking.


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Haverhill Rovers chairman Terry McGerty said he was confident a new community facility would be built on the town's Puddlebrook site after years of unsuccessful attempts to move away from their current Hamlet Croft home.

“I am very positive about the whole thing, it is almost a question of how long it takes to complete rather than whether it is going to happen,” he added.

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“It will be an enormous benefit to the whole town. So often, people think it is just related to Haverhill Rovers, but it is a facility the town badly needs.”

The club, who play in Division One of the Ridgeons League, are in the process of applying for £1million from the Government and have pencilled in September 2006 to complete the move.

A further £1m has to be raised from the club and much of this will come from the sale of Hamlet Croft for housing.

Ridgeons Premier League Bury Town could also be on the move from Ram Meadow after council officials revealed they had identified a new site for the club's ground.

Although keeping tight-lipped over the exact location, St Edmundsbury Borough Council's director of leisure services, Steve Palframan, said a move was still in the pipeline.

“The impetus for a move has slightly died down lately, but it is starting to pick up again,” he added.

“Ram Meadow is one option open to the council should they require extra car parking spaces for the Cattle Market development.

“We have identified a site and we are currently finalising negotiations with the appropriate land owners, but this is also dependent on the Cattle Market parking requirements.”

Club chairman Russell Ward said: “Our facilities are completely outdated and we have had no end of problems in the last two or three years.

“We are really in need of a big makeover, but the council have come up with this idea of moving.

“Although we have been in the dark about the move lately, we still want it to happen as we want a brand new site with a good social club to enable us to move on.”

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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