A brand new £2million football stadium could soon be a reality for Worksop Town according to John Mann.
The Bassetlaw MP addressed a group of Worksop Town fans and officials on Wednesday at Sandy Lane, to outline his hopes for a ‘project’ that would result in a home that could never be taken away from the club.
Mann, who has already identified five potential sites in and around Worksop, explained how a 3G pitch in constant use would help the stadium to be financially self sustaining.
And he said he was confident funding could be raised to pay for a stadium good enough to allow the club to win ‘several’ promotions, while developing and expanding their facilities.
But he warned Tigers fans that although some wheels have been set in motion, a lot of hard work lies ahead.
Although Mann refused to entirely rule out the possibility of ASDA starting work at Vesuvius, where Worksop Town originally hoped to build a new home, he said the club could not afford to wait before moving forward elsewhere.
“We’re not relying on the Vesuvius development,” he said.
“The game has changed, there are a range of potential sites and most of these do not require land purchase.”
“There are two that are particularly attractive and my suspicion is that one of these will be picked.”
Mann wants to see watertight legal arrangements that will safeguard Worksop Town’s presence on any new ground.
The stadium itself would be owned and operated by a Community Interest Committee – something that was set up by the MP and Tigers fans four years ago in the wake of their forced exile from Sandy Lane.
The football club would then effectively become tenants in the stadium with guaranteed usage.
Mann admitted that Tigers’ majority shareholder Jason Clark and the board of directors could choose not to move to a new stadium, but insisted that no one could ever take it away from the club.
Although negotiations with commercial partners and funding bodies are at an early stage, Mann hinted that the NHS could be linked in to the new stadium in order to promote healthy living and sporting participation in Worksop.
And he wants the stadium design to include space for at least one other sport to come on board, with boxing an early frontrunner.
“This is big league stuff, it has never been done before, but it is doable,” he said.
“We want to see something as good as Sandy Lane at the beginning and that is doable.”
“The £2m budget is doable.”
Tigers director Chris Smith told the meeting: “This is a marvellous opportunity to get a stadium, run by the fans.”
The next step will be to set up a working party to begin attracting local firms and individuals who can assist in the building and running of a stadium.