Town council’s £190k loan proposal for sports club

An artists' impression of Alnwick Town Juniors' proposal.
An artists' impression of Alnwick Town Juniors' proposal.
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Residents are being consulted on proposals by Alnwick Town Council to borrow money to support a major development for a junior sports club.

A scheme costing just over £1million to provide a full, all-weather, floodlit, artificial football pitch, a new clubhouse with changing rooms and improved car parking at Greensfield is being progressed by Alnwick Town Junior Football Club.

A planning application is currently being determined and if everything is in place, it is hoped a start will be made on the site in the spring and it is proposed that the facilities would also be used by the new high school.

A funding package has been drawn together by the club which should see more than £800,000 provided by the Football Foundation and Northumberland County Council.

Alnwick Town Council has been asked to give a loan of £190,000 to complete the necessary funding.

To be able to give a loan of this amount requires the town council to borrow the money and it will be necessary to obtain borrowing approval from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

It is proposed that the town council will take a 15-year, interest-free loan from the county council with an annual repayment of £12,667. The loan repayment amount will be met by the junior football club.

As a condition, the council is requiring that the facilities be available for use by other clubs and sports when not in use by the football club.

In the event of a default on the loan repayment, the Duke of Northumberland, who is president of the club, has guaranteed payment of up to half the annual figure.

Therefore, the worst-case scenario is that the town council would have to find the other half – £6,333.50 – in any year in which repayment could not be met by the club.

In accordance with borrowing procedures, Alnwick Town Council is consulting with residents regarding the scheme and its proposal to borrow money.

For more information or to comment, contact the town clerk, Room 5, 27 Fenkle Street, NE66 1HW, call 01665 602574 or email alnwicktown clerk@btconnect.com

Comments must be received before Wednesday, November 8.