Ground Developments: Kingston Council to Join Discussions
Kingstonian FC's directors with an update from a recent meeting.
In January, Kingstonian's directors provided supporters with written information on developments with options under consideration for a new ground for our Club and are now providing a further update. The previous statement issues in January 2023 can be viewed here.
On 21st February, representatives of Kingstonian FC met again with the Leader of Kingston Council, Andreas Kirsch, along with Councillor Noel Hadjimichael (who holds the Council's Assets, Leisure and Commissioning portfolio) and a senior council official.
At the meeting Cllr. Kirsch agreed that Kingston Council would work with the Club to help take forward and participate in discussions directly with the owners or current leaseholders for two of the sites.
We discussed the three potential options that are being explored. The updated positions on the three prospective sites are as follows:
- Option 1 - The Club have had exploratory meetings with a higher education institution after a potential partnership. Cllr. Kirsch will now write to the institution, seeking a three-way meeting to explore the potential for a partnership with our Football Club. This would be similar to existing partnerships between sports clubs and educational establishments.
- Option 2 - The Club has had a positive initial meeting (facilitated by a senior council officer) with a representative from a local sports facility. There is a potentially very interesting opportunity here that could entail a partnership with a well-respected local community organisation. Again Cllr. Kirsch will now write to the current tenants / leaseholders seeking a three-way meeting about the potential for Kingstonian FC to develop facilities there.
- Option 3 - Finally, the Club has looked further into the potential development of an existing sports venue. Whilst the Councillors are not keen to dismiss any potential options, there are acknowledged to be complications due to the existing purpose of the site. However, this option will be examined further, in order to assess its viability for development.
The Kingstonian directors are pleased to now be receiving such active help in seeking a new ground.
Club director Mark Anderson commented: "We are very pleased that Kingston Council are becoming more actively engaged in the process. We are delighted to have the direct input from the leader of the Council Andreas Kirsch. Of course, we still have no guarantee of success, but the direct involvement of the local authority improves the chances of a happy outcome for the K's,"
"I cannot emphasise enough the important role that our fans make to the dialogue with the Council and other stakeholders via social media or directly with elected representatives. Your canvassing and promotion of the cause is both appreciated and most importantly being listened to. Keep it going and together let's bring the K's home."
A follow-up meeting will be arranged to review progress with Cllr. Kirsch, Cllr. Hadjimichael and RBK officers after the meetings with the potential sites.
Further updates will be provided to K's supporters as things develop, whilst recognising that there may be stages that have to remain commercial confidential.