Tigers Issue Update on Ground Progress

Vanarama National League North club Gloucester City have provided....

....a further update on progress towards their return to the city.

In conjunction with their architects and several other consultants, the club have been progressing work on the reserved matters scheme and the sixteen pre-commencement planning conditions.

Solid progress has been made on the reserved matters elements but additional time is needed to complete the preparation work on the various pre-commencement planning conditions which, amongst other matters involve surface water and foul drainage arrangements, noise, highways, geoenvironmental and environmental considerations.

The club are acutely aware of timescales but the matters that need to be completed are highly resource intensive and it has simply not been possible to complete the volume of work in the target timescales originally envisaged.

Club owner Eamonn McGurk would like to reassure fans that his commitment to returning the club to Gloucester remains absolute.

McGurk said: “I have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds and had numerous set-backs as we proceed through the planning process, but we all remain absolutely committed to bringing the club home.

“We need to ensure that both the reserved matters and pre-commencement planning conditions are completed so that they can be submitted to Gloucester City Council as one comprehensive submission.”

One major blow in the last few weeks has been the loss of a potential grant in excess of £600,000.

Chairman Mike Dunstan revealed: “We have been working hard with the funding authorities to prepare for formal grant application.

“But it has now become apparent that a large proportion of that money, for the establishment of a 3G pitch with supporting infrastructure such as the floodlights cannot be realised following rules and standards clarifications from the authorities this summer.

“It has been determined that the FIFA 2-star pitch required to play National League North football cannot yield enough hours of community use required (which would need the harder-wearing FIFA 1-star standard pitch).

“That’s really disappointing after so much work by all parties, but the funding bodies rightly want to maximise the community benefits whilst the League rightly wants to have the best possible pitch for the integrity of the competition.

“We will move on with our wider stadium grant (where significant time and effort is being spent on preparatory work) which at our level would generate a grant of up to £250,000.”

McGurk continued: “I know fans are worried about the future and I know that they want to see action, as we all do.

“In order to improve communications, I have agreed with the chairman that he will convene a meeting with fans every month to six weeks so that I and the team can take those in attendance through progress and issues as we move through the planning and into the work phase.

“These will be held as small groups to allow frank and open conversations, and where appropriate documents shown. Mike will ensure that all elements of the club get the chance to attend, and we both hope this will improve confidence in the direction of travel.

“The recent setback in relation to 3G pitches is a good example of how external changes can significantly influence and impact upon the club’s plans.”

In conclusion Dunstan commented: “These are difficult and frustrating times for everyone, but for me it comes down to a simple individual decision as to whether the club is worth fighting for or not.

“I, along with some fantastic people firmly believe it is and will be moving heaven and earth to bring a bright future for the club.

“We hope that all fans will agree, get behind Tim Harris and the players and move into 2016 in positive fashion – we as a collective need to show the City what its missing and show the region the fantastic potential of this football club.”

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