Football club hopes for new home

OFFICIALS at a football club are optimistic a move to a new £1m ground could still be on the cards, despite losing out on crucial council cash.Bury Town Football Club was hoping its current Ram Meadow Ground would be turned into a car park ahead of the town's long-awaited Cattle Market redevelopment, which would have funded the move to a new two-pitch site.

OFFICIALS at a football club are optimistic a move to a new £1m ground could still be on the cards, despite losing out on crucial council cash.

Bury Town Football Club was hoping its current Ram Meadow Ground would be turned into a car park ahead of the town's long-awaited Cattle Market redevelopment, which would have funded the move to a new two-pitch site.

But St Edmundsbury Borough Council says it is no longer in a position to fund the move after it decided the Cattle Market would be best served by underground parking.

Although officials at the club say they are disappointed the council funding has collapsed they remain optimistic the plan could still go ahead in the next two years.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has said grants will still be available to the club and has also offered to grant it a new 21-year lease at Ram Meadow.

Club chairman Russell Ward said a move to a new facility is still its first option and he now hoped to attract private investors to fund the scheme.

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"We are very disappointed the council funding has fallen through, but it wasn't entirely unexpected and we now need to look at other ways of raising the money.

"The plans are definitely not off and the matter has to be sorted out within two years. We have been offered a new lease at Ram Meadow, but the facilities are so out of date we will not be taking up that offer unless the facilities are knocked down and rebuilt.

"More than 80 games a year are played at Ram Meadow, which is too much and that is why we need two pitches.

"Staying at Ram Meadow will only be an option if the council decided to rebuild it, but even then our preferred option is to move to a new site.

"Of course £1m is going to be difficult to raise, but private investors may be interested if we can draw up a water-tight business case. We will now discuss all the options open to us before we decide where we go from here."

Club officials will now meet on Monday night to discuss the situation.

A spokesman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: "We recognise the importance of Bury Town Football Club to the town and we will work with them to ensure their long term success."

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