By Jon Couch
THE future of Newport (Isle of Wight) has been secured after the owners of their St George’s Park home agreed to allow the club to stay.
The Sydenhams Wessex League club had been given notice to quit the ground by land owners South Coast Leisure, who are looking to build a new development that will create around 250 local jobs, while instead exploring plans to create a new purpose-built football ground elsewhere.
But now a compromise to allow the club to remain at St George’s Park until the middle of May 2018 allows the Port to make plans for next season.
Newport chairman Stuart Ross said: “South Coast Leisure’s commitment to our club and the wider Isle of Wight Community has been exemplary allowing one of the oldest football clubs in the country of 129 years to continue its football at a high level, whilst ensuring a community facility for the Island is maintained for which so many people are part of or connected to in some way.
“The Isle of Wight Council, its leader Dave Stewart, other IW Councillors and Newport Parish Council have supported and assisted Newport IW FC throughout the whole process of negotiations so I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for our club. I look forward to maintaining a strong working relationship with them all as we progress on to secure the club’s long term future.
“A new home for Newport IW FC is looking even more possible as each day goes by which will secure a long term future for our club.
“Newport IW FC will be leaving its home in twelve months however there are exciting times ahead at the club’s new facility that will provide huge sporting benefits to our children, schools and the wider community.”
Tony Wake, South Coast Leisure shareholder, said: “As someone who has grown up on the Island I am well aware of the fine history of Newport IOW FC and its role within the local community. I am pleased to have reached this agreement with the club and we have some exciting plans in the near future.”
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