Public debate called on the future of Northampton Town FC
Wed 3rd Mar 2010 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Northampton Town chairman David Cardoza is pleased that the Liberal Democrat leadership of Northampton Borough Council have called for a public debate over the future of Northampton.
Mr Cardoza also asked for the debate to involve more than local politicians, and urged for the citizens of Northampton, together with the Cobblers, the Saints and other stakeholders to be able to have their say.
The Cobblers and the Saints have both suffered set backs in their respective attempts to re-develop their stadiums using retail development to fund those improvements. The Borough Council have maintained that any development will have an adverse effect on the town centre.
"We are delighted that the debate has been opened by Brian Binley MP and the stance he has taken has the full support of the football club," said Mr Cardoza.
"The Council's current 'town centre first and forget everything else' policy is not what the people of Northampton want, and there is a far bigger picture to be seen.
"Just up the M1 Leicester has first class rugby, football and cricket teams and that is the blueprint for Northampton to aspire to.
"The Saints are already one of the biggest rugby clubs in Europe and here at Sixfields if we could push on to Championship level that would bring an enormous amount of profile to the area, income to the local economy and exposure for the town, and that has to be to the benefit of all Northampton citizens. That is without mentioning the vast amount of work for the local community the Saints and the Cobblers do and would be able to expand further if re-development was to take place at Sixfields and Franklins Gardens.
"No one is against putting the town centre as a priority, but not at the detriment of everything else.
"We have been working to try and re-develop in this way for 7 years. In this time, Milton Keynes have gone from not having a football club to building a superb stadium funded by out of town retail, and are now in line to host World Cup football, with all of the exposure, profile and income this will bring to their local economy. None of this has been at the detriment of their town centre. Countless other towns and cities have improved their facilities on a similar basis. Meanwhile here in Northampton we have spent 7 years making excuses and saying why things can't be done.
"We look forward to the debate and hope and trust that for the good of Northampton this will include the Borough Council, our MPs, the football and rugby clubs, the general public and other stakeholders. After all, if the Council's policy stands up to scrutiny and is in the best interest of Northampton and it's citizens then they will be keen for as many interested parties as possible to attend."
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