PLANS to build a new football ground for Newport FC on the outskirts of town have been revealed today (Tuesday).
South Coast Leisure (SCL), which owns the club's current ground, St George’s Park, plans to build a new home for Newport on land off The Racecourse, near Whippingham.
The proposed new ground, situated in the Newport north electoral ward, is bordered by The Racecourse, Whippingham Road and East Cowes Road.
The new facilities would include a floodlit pitch, a new clubhouse and a spectators’ stand with a designated viewing area for people with disabilities, plus on-site parking.
SCL, which plans to build a trade, food and retail park at the St George’s Park site, said the improved facilities would enable Newport to play in the Southern Football League Division 1.&a mp;lt;br>The plans will be submitted imminently and it’s hoped the new ground will be ready in time for the start of next season.
Paul Airey, SCL’s planning consultant, said: “After an extensive search over a long period of time, in which many sites were considered, we have now identified and secured a site that offers a really bright future for Newport Football Club.
“We have been in close contact with club officials in developing these proposals.
“These plans will allow Newport FC to move forward as a community-focused club, playing in a brand new, sustainable, stadium with top quality facilities and pitch.”
“We will continue to work with the club and its supporters and also with the residents who live near the proposed site of the new ground.
“We want to make sure this opportunity provides Newport and the wider community with the best possible sporting facility.”
Stuart Ross, chairman of Newport Football Club, added: “We would like to thank SCL for their support over many years.
“The club has been working closely with SCL to develop these plans to ensure they meet the required category D ground grading specifications and are fit for purpose for the club.
“On behalf of Newport FC, I will continue my negotiations with SCL in order for this new development to provide the club and the wider Isle of Wight community with a long-term sustainable future, which is hugely important.
“We are very close to this, which is magnificent.
“This is a chance for the club to end years of uncertainty and settle into a new home that will offer top class facilities.
“We have to move quickly for the start of the 2018/19 season but we have a plan which, if approved, will finally see the club playing in a ground that can thrive both in terms of its football and in developing and strengthening links with the Island’s community.”
IW Council leader Dave Stewart, said: “The council knows how important Newport FC is to its
supporters and the local community and is very keen to see it find a home in a sustainable and high-quality new ground.
“SCL has shown in the past that it has the best interests of the club at heart, so I look forward to finding out more about these proposals.”