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Braintree Football Club offers local council deficit lifeline

Mon 13th Sep 2010 | Money & Finance

Cash-strapped Braintree Council is set to ditch a plan that would make it millions of pounds and give the town's football club a new ground.

Braintree Town Football Club have launched a renewed bid this week to relocate the club to Pod's Brook Road. The sale of the Football Club's Cressing Road site would be expected generate millions of pounds for Braintree Council - through its part ownership of the existing nine acre site

The Council, who has a budget deficit of £5m supports the relocation of the Football Club in its Core Strategy, but had previously preferred a new ground at Panfield Lane over Pod's Brook Road.

However, the Council's preferred developers - Mersea Homes and Hills Group - have proposed that plans for the provision of a new ground at Panfield Lane be dropped. That proposal leaves the Club, currently second in their league and chasing a second promotion in five years, without the prospect of the improved ground they will need if they are promoted this season.

Football Club Chairman Lee Harding said: "I believe relocating the Club to Pod's Brook Road is a win-win situation for the residents of Braintree, as well as the Football Club.

“ We've given our Council hundreds of thousands of pounds over the past three years and the sale of Cressing Road would pay for both our new stadium and generate millions for the Council - more than enough revenue to fill their budget shortfall. I think we are giving our Council a golden opportunity to generate all the money they need to save over the next four years whilst, at the same time, helping a growing, successful Braintree organisation realise its full potential!

Lee continued, “The bottom line is that Braintree people can avoid having their services slashed, further rises in Council tax, we get our new stadium and it may even help staff at Causeway House keep their jobs! To do anything else would be a spectacular own-goal from an authority that needs money, and quickly, to avoid reducing the quality of its services."




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