Ipswich: Future of Ransomes Sports and Social Club could be decided by courts

Peter Gorham at Ransomes Sports and Social Club

Peter Gorham at Ransomes Sports and Social Club

The future of one of Ipswich’s best-known sports grounds could be decided by the courts this summer, it has emerged.

Ipswich council owns the Ransomes Sports ground in Sidegate Avenue, but for the last 18 years it has been run by a separate club.

Last year the council decided to take back the management of the ground and wants to run it on the same lines as its other sports centres and sports fields.

However, the Ransomes Sports Club took legal action to prevent its eviction amid a row over compensation.

Ransomes manager Peter Gorham said there is still a dispute over who compensation should be paid to.

The council says the compensation it has offered should be paid to the committee to make improvements to the club.

But Mr Gorham said this would effectively mean the money was paid to the club and then immediately taken back by the council to undertake the work.

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He said it was needed to pay off debts that had built up over the last year, when club bookings had fallen off because of uncertainty over its future.

Mr Gorham said: “We are happy to talk about compensation, but it cannot just be the council giving with one hand and taking back with the other.”

Borough councillor Bryony Rudkin said the council hopes to take over the ground in time for the next football season.

She said: “We want to run this as a facility for many sports – contrary to what some people have said there is no question of us selling it for redevelopment or anything like that.”

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