Boston United stadium plans moving forward as lease ticks down
Chairman David Newton admits time is of the essence in Boston United’s bid to finance and build a new stadium.
With less than five years remaining on their current lease at the Jakemans Stadium, Newton intends to submit a planning
application for the club’s new home by February next year.
From an initial shortlist of three, Newton now has one preferred site in mind, believed to be out of the town centre.
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After the project suffered a setback last year, when a key funding partner pulled out, plans are gathering pace again.
Initial designs for the new stadium have been drawn up, with Newton viewing the latest earlier this week.
The Pilgrims chief believes the project will gain more support once an application has been submitted to Boston Borough Council.
“We’ve got consultants and architects working on preliminary sketches of the stadium,” said Newton, the head of property firm Chestnut Homes.
“We looked at those again earlier this week and the aim is still to submit an application by February, and we’re on target to meet that deadline.
“We’re looking seriously at one site as we’re moving forward with an application.
“Going for a planning application will help us go for funding. Most of the funding bids need a planning application in place which is why we’re pressing ahead.”
Once an application is submitted, Newton will then look to secure the funding required to build a new ground.
“We can’t deliver it at the moment – we haven’t got the funding – but if we get the permission, we can hopefully sort some funding out and the project will gain momentum in the town,” he added. “Planning permission is only the first step, there’s a lot to be done.”
Newton admits he will leave United’s York Street site with a heavy heart, but insists the club has no other option, with owners, the Malkinson family, unwilling to extend the lease.
“I’ve got mixed feelings because I love York Street. It will be a sad day when the club leaves there, but it’s got to happen,” said Newton.
“And it’s got to happen fairly soon. We’ll do our best and hopefully we’ll deliver a stadium that’s sustainable for the club.
“There’s less than five years left on the lease. We want to do it as soon as we can, but it’s not going to be easy.”
Meanwhile, Newton has praised Pilgrims fans for their support after the club sold around 500 season tickets.
“We’ve got about the same number of season ticket holders as last season,” added Newton.
“That is great because times are getting harder for people, not easier, because there have been no pay increases.
“We thank the fans for their support and hopefully we can reward them with a successful season.”