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Rescue plans being drawn up to save LMS football ground in Skipton
They are willing to dig into their pockets to help find the cash to buy the ground, which is being sold by Skipton LMS Social Club in Broughton Road for £30,000.
Chartered surveyor Michael Westlake, who is overseeing the sale, said: “We’ve had 30 expressions of interest already, which is a surprise.
“The trustees have a duty to get the best price they can – they can’t sell for less than the market value. We will be leaving it on the market until the middle of next month and then inviting the interested parties to bid for it.”
One group bidding for the site comprises four local business people. Its spokesman, who wants to remain anonymous, said the success of their ambitions would depend on the eventual price.
County, district and town councillor Robert Heseltine, who 20 years ago went to the rescue of the club by financing some of the clubhouse restoration costs, said he would also be prepared to help.
“It would be a terrible loss to the town and football if the ground was sold and LMS had nowhere to play.”
He said he believed there should be some form of covernant ensuring the ground was used exclusively for football.
At the same time a petition has been launched seeking support from football clubs throughout Craven to save the ground and possibly for it to be taken over by Craven District Council.
It is being spearheaded by Michael Stodart, an LMS club member for more than 30 years, who is petitioning every football club in Craven for support.
He said: “I didn’t realise it was for sale until I saw it reported in the Craven Herald. After I got over the shock I was fuming.
“I think CDC should take over the ground and finance it for the people of Skipton. It was originally left to the town by the LMS company. It would be in the spirit of that generosity.”
Bill Freakes, who runs the Venue Bar in Cavendish Street, Skipton and is manager of the first team, believes the loss of the ground to football would be devastating.
He said: “We have six junior sides coming on which is very encouraging, the first team has done very well over the last few seasons and we are looking to set up a ladies team. All that would be lost if the club had no ground. We must do our best to save it.”
The sale of the 2.6 acre site, next to Sandylands Sports Centre, Skipton Tennis Club and cricket ground, also includes the Go-Kart track.
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