05:05PM, Wednesday 20 November 2019
Maidenhead United are considering the possibility of relocating to Braywick Park as the club continues to grow.
The Magpies confirmed today (Wednesday) that it had been in ‘positive’ discussions with the Royal Borough about a potential move, with the construction of a community football stadium at the park seen as a ‘feasible’ option.
A joint statement from club chairman Peter Griffin and chief executive Jon Adams said: “We are now one of the largest and most successful community sports clubs in the Thames Valley.
“Our men’s and women’s first teams are playing at the highest level in the club’s modern history and match-day attendances are regularly over 1,500.”
The club also pointed to its 42 junior, academy and walking football teams and the work of its Magpies in the Community health, wellbeing and education programme as examples of its ‘significant progress’ in recent years.
Mr Adams said: “For the club to sustain our growth and development we need to radically improve the club’s facilities so that we can extend the range of community activities we offer and improve the match-day experience for supporters.
“We have decided to consider relocation as an option for realising the funding we would need to achieve this and have concluded that Braywick Park, as the town’s existing sport and recreation hub, would be the most suitable location to move to.”
The Magpies’ York Road ground is believed by the FA to be the oldest senior football ground continually used by the same club.
Maidenhead FC played their first game at the ground on February 16, 1871.
The club, which was promoted to the National League in 2017, has previously considered relocation as it looks to grow, but a suitable site could not be found.
Maidenhead United have now asked the Royal Borough to agree to the principle of the club relocating to Braywick.
This request will be considered by the council at the end of the year.
The club statement said: “As a town centre club, we have always been clear that, in order to move, we would need to identify a similar town centre location with equivalent walking, cycling, bus, rail and road links to those that York Road benefits from.
“We have carefully considered the options available to the club to realise the significant investment required to develop our facilities at York Road.
“In this context, it has been impossible to ignore the regeneration underway in Maidenhead town centre and the opportunity which could exist to realise the capital funding we need through the disposal of our York Road ground and the relocation of the club to a suitable alternative location.”
The club has been in talks with other sports clubs in Braywick Park, as well as the council, over the past few months and the idea of a ‘community’ football stadium has been discussed.
Should the club opt to go down this route, the new ground would be owned by trustees and include additional sports facilities that could benefit other sports clubs.
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