‘The future is in our own hands’ – Hitchin Town FC confirm 25-year lease
PUBLISHED: 17:56 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:56 16 March 2015
‘Our future is now in our own hands’ – that’s the upbeat verdict from Hitchin Town FC, which has confirmed that it can remain at its Top Field home until at least 2039.
The future of the Canaries at the historic ground was under a shadow because of plans which could have seen a supermarket built on the site – but after a potential developer failed to trigger a break clause to push the project on to the next stage, the club is breathing a sigh of relief and working out what happens next.
That includes fundraising to pay for an upgrade to the stadium, with supporters able to chip in as little as £1 to help fill the coffers.
Confirming that a 25-year lease on the Fishponds Road ground remains in place, chief executive Andy Melvin said: “We’re delighted, the future is now is our hands. No-one can tell us to leave.
“We can be a lot more positive, which is great news for the club, the town and the community which has backed us all the way – and for which we very grateful.
“We will always welcome public on whatever we plan to do in terms of upgrading the ground, Top Field in its current state cannot go on forever.
“The next task is getting a stadium to be proud of – and which can take the club forward.
“We need to upgrade the changing rooms, the floodlights, the pitch, the drainage and many more things.”
Club secretary Roy Izzard added: “We’re looking to set up a special crowdfunding site.
“The minimum donation will be just £1 – we will provide full details when the site is up and running.
“The Save Top Field fund has a balance of £6,413.80 which will not be used until we have held a further open meeting to seek views on how it should be spent.
“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign – and we hope the community will now get behind our plans to rebuild Top Field.”
Sky Sports broadcaster Guillem Balague, who lives in Hitchin, is among those who has backed the campaign to save Top Field.
He said: “This is great news for Hitchin Town FC and a great tribute to the many people who supported the cause and continue to support the club.
“Let’s get busy fundraising now for the next stage – improving the facilities at the club.”
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