Chairman vows to deliver new stadium for Boston United
DAVID NEWTON has promised to deliver Boston United a new stadium despite revealing the project has encountered a setback.
The Pilgrims chairman updated supporters on the club's search for a new home at a fans' forum last week.
United have just six years left on their current lease at the Jakemans Stadium, with construction of a new ground set to take around two years.
Newton has narrowed his search by pinpointing two preferred sites.
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But for the project to succeed, an enabling development – like shops, bars and a hotel – is essential to fund it.
However, with the recession continuing to bite, Newton admitted negotiations with key potential partners have stalled.
"We've been trying to move that forward and it's proving rather difficult in the current climate," revealed Newton.
"As I've said before we were looking at three sites. We're down to two now.
"Because we haven't got any money, we need an enabling development.
"Obviously, the current climate is not the best for that.
"As with any development like this, sometimes you move forward, sometimes you move back.
"We did think a couple of months ago we were almost there.
"But the companies we were talking to are all reviewing what they are doing.
"For example, we were talking to a hotel operator and things looked quite good.
"It looked like it was going to be quite a lucrative part of the project.
"But they revised their rooms rates across the whole country and as result of that, the value of their product came down and therefore they reduced their offer.
"Once we weighed that up, it wasn't worth doing. They are the sort of things we're coming up against at the moment."
However, Newton has reassured fans that he and vice-chairman Neil Kempster will deliver a stadium that will help take the club forward on and off the pitch.
"We will deliver a new ground, it's just timing," added Newton, the boss of property firm Chestnut Homes.
"We've been here five years and for most of that time, the country has been in recession and it's not getting any better, in fact it's getting worse. Nobody can see an end to it at the moment.
"But it's a fact of life. All the big companies are looking at their trading conditions.
"It's disappointing because we'd just about thought that we'd got there and we were hoping to announce something.
"But those partners have not fallen by the wayside, they're reviewing their position, and without them we can't make it work.
"We've got to move because we've only got six years left on the lease.
"We are in discussions with Boston Borough Council, they are aware of our plans.
"The county council is also in favour of what we're doing and we've got some funding bids in with them.
"There is a whole raft of things we're working on behind the scenes.
"But what we don't want to do is announce that we're going build a new stadium when we're not ready to deliver it."