Tue, 30 Oct 2018
WEST Berkshire Council has confirmed it is in discussions with Newbury Football Club over a move to Northcroft Leisure Centre.
The local authority has committed to explore the option as part of a regeneration of the site.
However, the council admitted this could be some time away and has therefore said it would look at finding the club a "home closer to Newbury" in the short term.
The club were told to vacate its previous home in Faraday Road in June as the council needed the site to be ready for redevelopment and is currently playing at Brimpton FC.
The council wants to turn Newbury FC's former ground, Faraday Road, into flats as part of its wider plan to redevelop the London Road Industrial Estate.
As a result, the club were told to leave in June and have been playing home games at Brimpton FC's ground.
The plans for a move to Northcroft were revealed by the council's chief executive, Nick Carter, at yesterday's Newbury Vision Conference.
Mr Carter confirmed that the approach about Northcroft came from the football club and that conversations about the move were "positive".
This announcement comes as West Berkshire Council and Newbury F.C have agreed a joint approach to providing football in Newbury that will see:
. The council explore providing a football facility as part of a regeneration of Northcroft Leisure Centre.
. The council and Newbury FC work together to find a suitable site for the club which can be used until the Northcroft refurbishment is complete.
Both sides reportedly agree that the long-term home for football in Newbury will be in Northcroft, rather than the London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE)
The council intends to reopen the Faraday Road site as a multi-purpose games area, on a short-term basis until the redevelopment of the LRIE begins.
Councillor James Fredrickson said: "We're delighted to be working with Newbury FC directly to develop a long-term plan for football in Newbury.
"Northcroft is already home to Newbury's leisure offering, so it is an ideal home for improved football facilities.
"Whilst we would have liked to have kept the club at the Faraday Road site, we couldn't commit to the length of lease that their league required.
"We are now actively working with the club to provide them with a more appropriate home, closer to Newbury, whilst we explore our options in Northcroft."