Thursday, June 9, 2011

News: Council support Millers with £5m loan for stadium


The cabinet of Rotherham Council has agreed in principle for a £5m loan towards the cost of Rotherham United's new community stadium.

The 12,000 seater stadium is being built by GMI Construction on the old Guest and Chrimes foundry site close to Rotherham town centre. The club itself has been working to raise over £12m from other sources for the cost of the £17.3m project.

The council hope that the stadium will provide state-of the art facilities both for football fans on matchdays and for schools, community groups and businesses to use at other times throughout the year.

Tony Stewart, Chairman of Rotherham United said: "From day one of my tenure at Rotherham United Football Club, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council have been as determined as I to make this happen, not just for the Football Club but for our town.

"The final building blocks are now in place thanks to the support of a number of partners particularly the Local Authority and Yorkshire Forward.

"By continuing to work as a team, in partnership, we've managed to overcome all the trip wires and hurdles throughout the long journey that this project has presented and now we can all look forward to witnessing the stadium being constructed."

Councillor Roger Stone, Leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, added: "The new community stadium is a key to the regeneration of Rotherham town centre and we have always supported the club and the wish to have Rotherham United back playing in the town. It's fantastic that a local entrepreneur and the club are prepared to invest so much in the town and leave such a positive legacy.

"The terms of the agreement mean that there will be no cost to Rotherham's council taxpayers, but our residents, schools, businesses and voluntary and community groups will reap the benefits for years to come - by using the facilities or by the stadium generating more town centre visitors on matchdays.

"It is vitally important that as a council we should use the powers available to us to raise money to help projects and initiatives that can bring about significant regeneration and income generation for our Borough. On that basis we have been happy to work in partnership with the club to ensure the project can move forward and bring our team back home."

The council will use prudential borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board for the loan which is the latest piece in the jigsaw to help fill a gap in the multi-million pound finances already raised by the private sector.

The report to cabinet states that: "To date, including the proposed £5m Council loan, the Club have identified funding of £15m, leaving a potential financing shortfall of £2.3m.

"The other identified funding is made up of £3.3m ERDF grant and £6.7m private investment. The Club have been asked to provide evidence to confirm that these funding sources are in place and secure."

Regarding the security of the loan, the report goes on to state that it is proposed that this will be in the form of a Legal Charge over property assets held by businesses owned by Tony Stewart, the Club's Chairman and director of Rotherham-based ASD Lighting.

The Club will make six monthly repayments that will equate to the annual revenue cost of servicing the loan. The repayment of the loan (principal and interest), including the cost of administration and management, will be fully met by the Club when it becomes due over five years.

In October, the Council concluded a deal to purchase 10.85 acres at the Guest and Chrimes site from Evans of Leeds for £2.6m to enable the project to go ahead. The council then progressed legal details to lease the land to the club.

The club has outline planning permission for the stadium and secured planning permission for the earthworks operation to raise the site by around 2 metres. A reserved matters application for full planning permission has been submitted to the authority and is being validated by officers. It has been given a provisional date for a decision of September 2.

Work to prepare the site has begun and work on the stadium itself is due to start soon. The Stadium is due to open at the start of the 2012/13 season.

In September, the Council organised a similar £5m loan for Rotherham College of Arts & Technology (RCAT) to help fund their plans to build a state of the art building at its town centre campus on Eastwood Lane.

RMBC website
Rotherham United website

Images: Rotherham United / S&P Architects


Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP