(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
By Matt Bishop
Kidderminster Harriers have submitted plans for a new stadium as the ambitious National League North side look to leave their historic Aggborough ground.
The 6,444 capacity stadium has been Kiddy’s home since 1890, but they are now hoping to move across the town and play at a purpose built stadium at Zortech Avenue, where the club train, while selling Aggborough to housing developers.
Harriers hope that this will “secure the long-term future of the club”, and have now submitted proposals to Wyre Forest District Council as they await a decision.
Speaking to the BBC, club chairman Colin Gordon said: “Now is the time for us to be thinking about the future.
“I fully understand and respect that there is a sentiment around Aggborough Stadium as a footballing venue – it’s played big part in my career both a long time ago and more recently too.
“But the simple fact of the matter is that we cannot be at the heart of our community if we’re sat in the middle of a housing estate – the local population is growing dramatically and we just aren’t physically in the right position to offer what we believe a football club should offer its community.”
As well as the first team already training at the proposed new site, Kidderminster’s current centre of sporting excellence is at Zortech Avenue and is where the club’s development side is based.
The move would bring the club together as a whole, improve the local area and would include educational facilities for Kiddy’s young prospects – all points that Gordon thinks are very important.
“On a Saturday afternoon we want the entire area to come and watch an attractive, winning product on the pitch, but from Monday to Friday we want people to come and learn with Kidderminster Harriers; to be educated and taught and to develop.
“We want to have artificial pitches that friends and colleagues can use to play football themselves and have the site as a place that acts as a real hub for the community.
“That particular part of Kidderminster is statistically deprived in many ways; lower life expectancy, higher instances of crime and even an increased rate of obesity among young people.
“These are all things that matter to us and while they aren’t things we can cure, they are things that as a football club we have a duty to try and help overcome.
“If we want to grow to become more than just a football team that relies on what the footballing product can generate then this is the only future for us – to be the sustainable, successful team and business that we want to be, this has to happen.”