Community Benefit and New Home for Town’s Football Club
‘Last night the Cabinet of Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council unanimously approved a proposal to grant a long lease to Hampshire Football Association for the stadium at Winklebury. Under the arrangement Hampshire FA would manage and develop the facility with investment from its own resources and from the Football Foundation to provide an artificial grass pitch for extensive use by the local community. It would also provide a home for Basingstoke Town Community Football Club, which could be used once the transfer of private ownership of the current club had taken place and the work on the facility completed. It is envisaged that BTFC will continue to play at the Camrose Ground until then. The Community Club would upgrade the provision for spectators at Winklebury. In addition, the ground would be the home of Basingstoke Town Ladies FC.
In introducing the proposal Councillor Simon Bound commended the partnership working of Hampshire FA and the Community Club and the efforts to engage with the local Winklebury community. He explained that the proposal would involve no outlay for the council and secure savings in running costs while providing some 60 hours weekly use by the community, far greater than could otherwise be achieved. He acknowledged existing and future concerns from residents about car parking at Winklebury and said that this was something that Hampshire FA and the Community Club were giving active consideration including use of parking at the Leisure Park.
Steve Williams, Secretary of the Community Club, said that this was an important step in the survival of senior football in the Town, but considerable financial and other challenges remained. He expected that the concept of a club owned by supporters would help command support and greater connection across the borough.’
As stated previously the Community Club will be holding it’s first communication surgery this Saturday against St Neots. Steve Williams will be present to answer any questions on the subject and about the Community Club in general. Just to confirm we shall be in the clubhouse (hall side), from 2pm – 2.20pm, and inside the ground by the turnstiles from 2.30pm – 2.50pm.