- Mr Nick CarterChief Executive, West Berkshire Council
Save football in Newbury and create a vision for our young people!
Please help us protect local football in Newbury and preserve its 100-year heritage and the vital role it plays in our community.
In 2016 West Berks Council will demolish Newbury FC on Faraday Road as it progresses redevelopment plans, plans we believe are fundamentally flawed.
Firstly, the Club can’t be removed without Sport England’s permission. Currently this has not been granted and conversations with the council have been protracted – there is still no plan to offer an alternative space and wider recreational plan for Newbury as part of the 2025 Vision. Sport England are very clear that they will oppose the removal of any sports field if a new one that is needed is not provided
Take a look at this short video of how West Berks Council refused to have an open conversation when Paul Morgan asked about what Community elements have been considered in the plan at a recent “Newbury Vision” meeting
Secondly, and, despite this, the Council insists on closing the Football Ground in June this year even though construction will not commence until 2018! The ground will be idle and hundreds of people’s footballing dreams will die.
Why should you care?
Perhaps, most essentially, the Club inspires young people, and provides a focus for personal and physical development from early years into adulthood. We’ve seen first hand how sport can turn lives around. Newbury FC had to drop several levels of football league, due to the short tenure held at Faraday Road with West Berks Council
West Berks Council has been very poor in relation to community football facilities in Newbury, the only outdoor, floodlit training venues are in the large secondary schools and these are in high demand from many commercial organisations. Also, Newbury simply doesn’t have enough pitches to meet the demand of local children.
Newbury has a long history of local football, stretching back to 1887 when it’s first team was officially formed and as well as Men’s, Ladies and Youth teams
AFC Newbury Boys and Girls provide football for over 350 local children from the age of 6 and is run completely by volunteers. Some of teams of 6 year olds are having to training at 8 o’clock at night mid week due to the lack of facilities and other children are being turned away as the club cant find enough venues to play and train
The Football Club, the only one in Newbury, has stood on the site since 1963 and has been used by all ages of people across the generations. The clubhouse is used by the community for social gatherings and club meetings and has done so for nearly 50 years.
It is such an integral part of the fabric of our wider sporting community that there’s no doubt its loss would have devastating consequences. For example, Newbury FC hosts matches for neighbouring clubs – the best ground & playing surface in the Newbury area, used by county FA for finals & Clubs even come from Reading to play there
Local Newbury football has had an impact on the professional and International stage too, with Theo Walcott and Charlie Austin both starting their careers with AFC Newbury and Brendan Rodgers is an ex Newbury Town player too.
We’re therefore calling for a rethink and asking the Council to have open and transparent conversations with the passionate volunteers and players. We’d like to properly discuss investment and planning to ensure the club remains open and we use this opportunity to redevelop a great football facility for the whole community.
- Chief Executive, West Berkshire Council
Mr Nick Carter
It is hereby requested that the Council:
1. Immediately withdraw its lease termination notice issued to Newbury Town Football Club on 25 July 2015.
2. Grant the Club security of tenure at its ground in Faraday Road, Newbury.
3. Work proactively and positively with the footballing community in and around Newbury to redevelop the stadium facility into asset for the community
5. Be open, transparent and honest in all matters relating to the football club and grounds.
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