Council to vote on Bury Town FC funding while club call meeting

Bury Town File photo ANL-151110-231127009
Bury Town File photo ANL-151110-231127009
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Bury Town FC’s future hangs in the balance ahead of tomorrow night’s (Tuesday, May 24) St Edmundsbury Borough Council cabinet meeting where it will be decided whether they receive the £50,000 funding they need to urgently renovate their ‘not fit for purpose’ clubhouse — with the public called to a meeting their on Thursday (7pm) to hear more about the plans.

The Free Press broke the news that the Ryman League club will be having to leave Ram Meadow in ‘the long-term’ but would have to urgently rebuild their diplaidated clubhouse for the interim period on May 13.

Council papers have revealed that half the money for the £100,000 re-build this summer, which is subject to planning permission, will need to come from their council tenants, with a decision set to be made at the cabinet meeting at West Suffolk House on Tuesday evening.

The report to the council reveals that, should they agree to hand over the £50,000 for the project, which would come from its capital programme pot for the Bury Community Football Project, they would also grant a new five year lease at a revised increased rent, to ‘reflect the upgraded facilities’.

The report also outlines the serious implications to the club of not committing the funds, saying: “If the investment is not made, the club is unable to meet the shortfall in funding through other routes due to the lease situation.

“The clubhouse is in such a state that repair is not economically viable, and the club cannot operate without a clubhouse due to league requirements.

“This could threaten the future of the club.”

Ahead of the meeting, councillor Joanna Rayner, cabinet member for leisure and culture at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “We have been working with Bury Town FC, discussing options that will shore up its short-term future, boost its income and provide the stability that will help it achieve its ambitions.

“If approved, this deal, which is subject to planning permission, means that the BTFC will achieve a new clubhouse which will meet FA requirements and make the club’s future more attractive.

“They will also gain a new five year lease while the improved facilities will help the club become even more involved with the local community.

“They already do a wonderful job but this will go further towards our own aims to encourage people to get more involved in local sport, and promote healthy and active communities.

“It is great to see that local businesses are also backing the success of their local club with sponsorship of £50,000 towards the clubhouse.

“All of this will serve as a stepping stone while the Council works with the club to look for a suitable new site in the town that will serve its longer term needs.”

* Meanwhile, the club is calling supporters, members and sponsors to a meeting at Ram Meadow to hear about plans for the clubhouse and to seek their input.

The meeting will commence at 7pm at the clubhouse.

The club’s chief executive, Michelle Banfield-Curran, said: “As has been reported in the press over the past few weeks, the club are preparing to re-build the clubhouse over the next few months, subject to the funding being in place, and we would like to update supporters on the progress, look for feedback and put together a group of volunteers to help with various jobs that are associated with the project.”

If you require any more information please phone Michelle at the club on 01284 754721, or just turn up on Thursday.

* For breaking news on this story, return to this website on Wednesday morning.