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LMS football ground sold to mystery businessman
8:00am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
Skipton’s LMS football pitch has been sold to an anoynmous local businessman following a sealed bid sale.
Although the new owner wishes to keep his name secret – he has pledged not only to keep the ground as a location for football, but also make improvements.
The ground which has been home to the LMS club for about a century.
Six offers were made for the pitch which was put up for sale last month and sparked fears that it could be lost to the town’s sporting community.
The bids were opened at Skipton-based selling agent, Westlake, on Monday morning and the 3 acre site, next to Sandylands sports centre, was sold to the highest bidder.
The offers were scrutinised by the trustees, who run the LMS social club in Broughton Road. They have remained tight-lipped about the reason for the sale.
The new owner has also promised to assist in providing income to help support the running and maintenance of the pitch and facilities.
The pledge includes a commitment to improve and provide new facilities such as changing rooms, lighting, parking and equipment and to look at ways of improving the overall aesthetics of the land in its entirety, including a planting programme and fencing.
Roger Beck, a member of the management committee which runs the neighbouring Sandylands Sports Centre and which had also submitted a bid, said he was disappointment that the committee had not been successful, but welcomed the pledge that the ground would remain as a football pitch.
“Hopefully we will be able to work with the successful bidder,” he added.
Michael Westlake of Westlake and Co, Selling Agents, said the trustees believed that they had fulfilled their obligations to the members and the sports facilities were in safe hands for the foreseeable future.
They said no details of the agreed sale price or any of the tenders would be made available.
“I have never handled the sale of a sports facility before and it has been an eye-opening experience,” said Mr Westlake.
“Across the marketing period, we have had 44 expressions of interest along with a plethora of rumours as to who might buy it and what they may do with it.
“The deal should be completed within a few weeks and the footballers can look forward to another 100 years or so of enjoying their sport.”
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