The Trust addressed councillors in Northampton at a meeting this week.
Board member Mick Ford outlined the Trust's support for a sports plan for the Northampton area, to better promote and strengthen ties between the Cobblers and the town's other principal sports clubs and improve the town's health and wellbeing offer through spectator and participation sport.
We would firstly like to thank both the Conservative administration and the Labour opposition for supporting our application that the Asset of Community Value for Sixfields stadium be extended to cover the old athletics track land.
We feel that this extension is vitally important, safeguarding a parcel of land that was designated as community benefit land when the stadium was built in 1994.
The old athletics track was moved to Moulton to accommodate the redevelopment of the east stand at Sixfields in 2013.
The leasehold for the old athletics track land now rests with County Developments Northampton Ltd (CDNL) and we are concerned that any future development of this land will not be for community benefit.
We hope that Northampton Borough Council does not lose sight of this land’s status and that you will insist that any future development upon it will be for community benefit.
Sixfields stadium was built as a community asset from the sale of the town’s bus company, with a view to adding sporting or community facilities to the stadium footprint in later years.
This land should not be given up for a development that does not enhance the sporting or community offer in Northampton.
The Trust would support the installation of 4G pitches, the development of a top-notch training facility for our sports clubs, a 50-metre swimming pool or a velodrome, all of which would enhance the town’s sport and wellbeing offer.
We would welcome a conversation around a sports strategy as part of the regeneration of Northampton, one which capitalises on one of the town’s key strengths and promotes our three main sports clubs, encourages other sports teams in the town and promotes health and wellbeing.
Such a strategy would be a significant strand of a potential future viable community ownership model we are exploring for the Cobblers.
A public meeting held in Northampton at the weekend was broadly supportive of further exploration and this is something the Trust is now taking forward.
We would be happy to sit down with the council to talk through our proposals in more detail.
We recognise the pressures on the council, financial or otherwise, and that the focus for the local authority may lie in other areas.
But on behalf of the supporters of Northampton Town FC, and those who love to watch and play sport in the town, we would urge you not to lose sight of what we feel is a fundamental requirement in making the town a more attractive place for all those who live, work and visit here.