The board of directors are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement, subject to contract, for the purchase of land within Kettering for the development of a new stadium complex. Land off Scott Road was identified as a possible site some months ago and the club along with Kettering Borough Council (KBC) have been working hard to review the option and to ultimately reach a commercial agreement.
Final agreement was reached this week and we now look forward to the next phase which involves working with adjacent landowners and developing our planning application, to meet the requirements of the planning and highway authorities prior to the construction phase. Fans need to understand that the new stadium is some years away and there will be more hurdles to negotiate but the most important thing is that our journey back to Kettering has started and wecan’t thank the officers and councillors at KBC enough for the support they have given the club over the last year or so.
Likewise the club would like to publicly thank our fans for their support and drive in keeping this dream alive; we appreciate that this may have taken longer than many would have hoped for but the main thing is that we have secured what many thought would never happen.
Club owner Ritchie Jeune has always recognised the importance of getting the Poppies back into Kettering to protect the long term existence of the club but any move needed to be undertaken in a manner that would not put the club’s existence in jeopardy.
Ritchie wanted to share his feelings saying “I and the board have always maintained thatLatimer Park is an important part in the infrastructure of the club but that it is not the long term playing venue for the first team. Due to my commitments outside of the UK this process has taken longer than either the club or the council would have liked but we are at last taking the first steps to bringing the club back into the town. The demise of Rockingham road highlights how without its own land the club is not 100% in control of its destiny. We must all ensure that the lessons from the past have been learnt and that we continue to progress at a rate which is sustainable and protects the long term future of the club. I thank David and Neil for all theirhard work in keeping this process on track and moving forward”
Cllr Lloyd Bunday issued the following statement on behalf of KBC “We are pleased that we have been able to find a way forward for the football club to achieve its ambitions of returning to Kettering Town. We wish the football club well in its delivery of its future plans”.
Club Chairman David Mahoney is delighted with the outcome adding “The club appreciate thatour fans have been frustrated by the perceived lack of progress but we had to ensure that updates were released at the right time and when there was firm news to share – today is the day that we have long looked forward to. The board will now enter into the next phase of discussions and we hope you will join us in celebrating this fantastic news and as always we willprovide further updates when the time is right”.