Healthcare land offer to help North Yorkshire club
Wed 10th Nov 2010 | Money & Finance
A scheme to secure the future of one of the North Yorkshire’s oldest football clubs, Harrogate Railway Athletic FC, has been put forward by a local property entrepreneur/healthcare group, who claim the plan could help other clubs facing similar financial difficulties.
Under the terms of the agreement with local healthcare company, Vida Healthcare Ltd, the 75 year old club will get brand new, extended facilities at its ground in Starbeck, including a new club house, 4 3G five-a-side pitches, a running track and a junior football pitch. Crucially, these state-of-the art facilities will also enable the club to generate new income streams in order to secure its long term future.
In return, a ground-breaking new 66 bed specialist dementia care home will be built on one of the club’s eight acres in a move which will create around 60 new jobs.
James Rycroft of Vida Healthcare, part of Harrogate-based property and healthcare group, The Rycroft Group, says the plans will transform the ground at Starbeck as well as providing much needed local care services for Harrogate and the surrounding areas:
“The important part of the proposal is that it will bring the ground back into daily use and create a long term future for the Club, as well as regenerating a major part of Starbeck. The care home will be dedicated to delivering specialist dementia care services with the aim of becoming a national centre of excellence in this sector.”
Harrogate Railway FC chairman, Mick Gray, says: “It is not often that something comes along where it is win, win for everybody. We would have been finished as a club without the proposal from Vida and are absolutely delighted.
“Like many other clubs, we have struggled financially for a number of years and it has been heart-breaking for us and the fans to see the ground fall into greater disrepair and to lose our youth teams due to lack of facilities.
“It is also becoming more difficult to compete in the Evo-Stik League, with the costs related to running a club at this level. We are all looking forward to a brighter, more secure future and hope these fantastic new facilities will be matched by our performance on the pitch!”
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