Loans for football club and charity to take on fire-station site

The former Alnwick Fire Station site on South Road.
The former Alnwick Fire Station site on South Road.

The county council is in the process of signing off loans to support young footballers and for a charity to take on the fire-station site in Alnwick.

The two loans formed part of the agenda of yesterday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s corporate resources scrutiny committee and will then go before the cabinet next week followed by the full council for approval.

The first involves a £190,000 loan to Alnwick Town Council, which will then lend the money to Alnwick Town Juniors Football Club for a new clubhouse, including changing rooms, toilets and club room.

It forms part of a major improvement programme for the club to provide a full-size, floodlit, all-­weather artificial pitch, changing facilities, improved playing pitches and car parking at Greensfield.

The club, which is separate from the main football club, has a draft 25-year lease for the site from the Northumberland Estates. It has applied for charitable status and once this is obtained, the lease is ready for signature.

The total cost of the project is expected to be £960,000 with the county council providing funding of £450,000 through its capital programme and Football Foundation funding of £320,000 having been allocated subject to approval.

The cost of the all­-weather pitch and car park will be in the region of £630,000, which will be covered by the county council’s capital funding plus £180,000 of the Football Foundation money.

The clubhouse element will be funded by the £190,000 loan plus £110,000 of the Football Foundation money.

Elsewhere, North East Equality and Diversity (NEED) Ltd wants to borrow £450,000 to buy the former fire station at South Road in Alnwick; along with a short-term advance for up to four months of £90,000 to cover VAT-associated cash-flow implications.

The disability and community transport organisation has for a number of years operated from and garaged its vehicles at the rear of the site and, following the construction of the new fire station on the Lionheart Industrial Estate, it has now been agreed that NEED will take on the whole site.