Plans for “Berkhamsted Community Stadium” move forward
Raiders has kicked-off a project to create a “Berkhamsted Community Stadium” (BCS) on the existing football stadium site at Broadwater.
The site is currently owned by the Berkhamsted Sports Grounds Charitable Association (BSGCA), and leased to the company that runs Berkhamsted Football Club (BFC) under a charitable lease. Our proposal embraces the creation of a 3G pitch at Broadwater and the redevelopment of the supporting facilities. We have submitted a rationale, a funding plan and a break even financial model for the project.
The new Berkhamsted Community Stadium would be managed by a charitable community trust (as is the case with BerkoAstro) involving representatives from the landowners (BSGCA), from the community and from the sports clubs that would use the clubhouse facilities and pitch – currently BFC, BRCFC and Berkhamsted Cycling Club (who are looking for a “home” and are keen to be involved.)
This is a priority within our 5-year plan to keep Raiders and the Town at the forefront of sport in the local area and beyond.
Support for the project
Both the Football Foundation and the Hertfordshire FA have asserted their support for the project; they have expressed a willingness to provide funding for a further, significant investment in our town. We have proved through the BerkoAstro and Paul Beard Centre (which attracted funding of c £750,000) that we can deliver a return on investment in terms of participation in sport and football development. Their preference is that this further investment is made in the ageing Broadwater Stadium, the home of Berkhamsted FC, our local senior club, and something we welcome.
The current situation
The Trustees of Raiders have carefully considered the approach to this project to ensure we spend money wisely and in line with our stated goals and articles of association; one of which is to find a ‘home’ for Raiders and provide appropriate facilities for our teams. We have concluded that this project accords with that. It also supports a much wider agenda of providing modern sports facilities to all sports in Berkhamsted. Because of this review, the Trustees have sanctioned the necessary expenditure to engage professionals to prepare a planning application. We are looking to generate much support locally for this project.
We acknowledge that the directors of Berkhamsted Football Club Limited, the leaseholders at Broadwater, are not currently supportive of the project. They believe that it will take away their independence and prefer to play on grass.
The Raiders view
We believe that the project can deliver significant benefits to the town and a wide range of sports as well as football within the Town.
To have a community sports (not just for football) facility which is purpose built, is a unique opportunity for the Town. By bringing together youth and senior football, alongside other sports, we will provide a real community “home” in the centre of our Town.
We also believe that the creation of a Community Sports Stadium, based around a 3G pitch will secure a long-term future for our senior club – Berkhamsted FC. The benefits of such 3G developments have been proven at other senior football clubs around the country.
We have created a project team headed by Steve Bird, a Raiders Trustee and long-term parent. If you have any views, comments or suggestions on the project, speak to Steve, Keith Pollard, Club Chairman or Andy Grindrod, the Football Committee Chairman, or one of our Trustees or Committee members.