New U's stadium moves step closer
FOOTBALL fans last night urged a council to become a “legend” and press on quickly with plans for a new community stadium.Supporters from Colchester United crowded into a meeting of Colchester Borough Council's cabinet last night to implore them to redouble their efforts to build a new stadium for the club.
FOOTBALL fans last night urged a council to become a “legend” and press on quickly with plans for a new community stadium.
Supporters from Colchester United crowded into a meeting of Colchester Borough Council's cabinet last night to implore them to redouble their efforts to build a new stadium for the club.
While the club is enjoying success at the moment, winning eight matches in a row and holding sixth place in the League One table, its Layer Road ground is run-down and archaic.
For years the club and council have been discussing plans to relocate to a community stadium at Cuckoo Farm, in north Colchester.
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The move has always depended upon a number of factors, including the building of a new A12 junction in north Colchester.
But yesterday the cabinet agreed to a timetable which would see building work start next June - provided a satisfactory business case is approved. Members authorised £200,000 to be spent on “enabling work” such as a tender exercise to test the construction costs of the project.
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U's fan Dean Third said: “We have won our last eight matches and the team continues to get stronger and stronger. The club is financially viable, attracting players who wish to share in this.
“The club is creating and attracting legends. Be one, become one yourselves, show the same pride and passion and get the community stadium built, do it for you, for your town, for your club and for Colchester.”
Paul Acres, speaking on behalf of Colchester Community Stadium Action Group, said: “We urge the council to redouble its efforts to ensure the completion of the development at the earliest possible date.
“We would take this opportunity to remind you of the enormous public support within the Colchester area and beyond.
“Do not underestimate the interest aroused, on a national basis, and the numbers of additional visitors that will be attracted to the area by this venue. That can only be good for Colchester.”
Council leader John Jowers said the council would press on with plans for the stadium, even before the A12 junction is built, because there was a danger of losing a £2 million Football Foundation grant if there was more delay.
Robert Davidson, portfolio holder for regeneration, told the fans at the meeting: “If we're going to stick to the tight timetable, we got to start making progress. You've got our full commitment to make this work if it's financially viable, if it's not, we'll come to you for help.”