Bath City FC hopes pending planning application will secure its long-term future

By Anita Jaynes on 9 September, 2019

Following the expulsion of Bury FC from the England Football League (EFL), Bath City FC is hoping that its pending planning application is approved to help secure the long term future of the Club.

In a critical financial position, Bury FC was expelled after a takeover bid from C&N Sporting Risk collapsed. They are the first team to drop out of the EFL since Maidstone’s liquidation in 1992.

Bath City, a community-owned club, has previously made public its need to make changes in order to remain in Twerton and to secure its own financial future. The Club has £1 million debt to be paid by 2022 and is currently running at a loss.

In 2017 Bath City announced it was working with Greenacre Capital on a joint scheme to redevelop Twerton High Street and part of Twerton Park. The planning application includes a new grandstand and facilities, community hub and a 3G pitch.

Purpose Built Student Accommodation is also included to make the whole scheme viable and to help stabilise the Club’s finances.

Other elements include affordable housing, co-living apartments and improvements to public spaces.

Nick Blofeld, Chair of Bath City Football Club, said, “We are sad to see a team such as Bury FC, a club with a rich heritage and loyal fan base, drop out of the EFL for financial reasons.

“As a community-owned club, we have carefully considered our options to try and ensure we can remain in Twerton and pay off our debts.

“The scheme we have developed with Greenacre brings numerous benefits for the Club and also the community, whilst ensuring a solid financial footing is in place to help Bath City FC avoid ending up in anything similar to the Bury situation.

“We’re a club who want to stay at the heart of our community and we have received hundreds of messages of support for our proposals. A lot of people in Twerton understand the importance of the scheme and the positive impact at could have. It’s great to hear  those positive comments.”

The application comes after much work and four rounds of comprehensive public consultation and community liaison and on the back of the Club’s most successful season for many years, which has seen record crowds at Twerton Park, with more than 1,000 spectators regularly attending every game.

Project updates will also continue to be available on the Bath City FC website, www.bathcityfc.com/twerton-park-redevelopment/