GAINSBOROUGH Trinity chairman Peter Swann is hopeful the clubs plans for a new stadium will be finalised in the next six weeks and remains optimistic about starting the 2013-14 season in a new home.
The Blues have occupied their current base at the Northolme since 1873 but are looking to move into a new ground on part of the former Castle Hills School site in the town.
As the Standard reported last November, businessman Swann had struck a deal in principal for the 10 acre plot of land and revealed some of the proposed facilities to be housed by the stadium.
Plans included a 4,500 capacity stadium, a new floodlit 3G training facility and several function areas to increase revenue into the club.
Swann said: “The club and I sat down and discussed where we need to be to secure the future of the club, unfortunately that cannot be where we are at the moment.”
“We don’t have a chance to put on functions or extra sponsorship, we don’t take any money from food or drink sales, we only have one ground, we don’t have a training facility”. “We find ourselves wanting to have a more practical facility and that’s where it all started from. The site is the former Castle Hills site, situated next to the West Lindsey Leisure Centre.”
“We have secured 10 acres of land to play with, we have tried to secure other sites around the town which were unsuccessful, the site we have in mind is very close to the site we are placed on now, and it also has better access”.
Swann admits it would cost the club ‘thousands of pounds’ to stay and upgrade the Northolme, and something he insists would provide ‘no return’ for the club.
“What we need is a new fresh site, we have been at the Northolme for a long time and it does need upgrading,” he said.
“There are certain areas of the ground that need upgrading in the next couple of years which would cost thousands of pounds and we don’t want to do that because there is no return for the club.”
“A practical stadium is needed, we are going to have a 3G floodlight pitch, which would bring in a source of income, a junior pitch and a couple of function areas which would generate us income through events, beer and food sales. Basically anything we want to do to increase income we could do at the new site”.
The club owner continues to work closely with West Lindsey District Council and remains optimistic about receiving the proposed plans in the next two months.
He added: ““We are working very closely with the council, we are hopeful to get the plans in for approval in the next four to six weeks; I would love to start building this around August time, this year.”
“That would give us a 12-month build, and hopefully by next July or August time we would be in a new stadium.”
Meanwhile Swann has confirmed the club have signed young goalkeeper Michael Emery on a deal that will run until the end of the season.
Swann posted on the club’s online message board: “We have signed Mike Emery on a contract until the end of the season. With Barnesy (Phil Barnes) and Petts (Andrew Pettinger) showing no signs of returning to the side soon, it was sensible to have a contracted keeper on board.”
Trinity entertain 17th-placed Harrogate Town on Saturday after games at Worcester and Gloucester had to be called off during the last fortnight.