Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Funding hopes for homeless club

Overgrown Gloucester FC ground
The ground at Meadow Park has become completely overgrown

Culture Minister Barbara Follett has said funds could be made available to help Gloucester City FC, made homeless by floods, to return to its ground.

Meadow Park was destroyed after being engulfed by 6ft (1.8mm) of water last July. Its pitch has become overgrown.

The Southern League club now plays in Cirencester and has failed to find a new site in its home city.

Gloucester's Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda raised the plight of the club in parliament on Monday night.

He told MPs: "The ground would require a lot of work to be insurable again.

"It would probably mean raising the level of the ground, it may even may mean rotating the pitch 180 degrees.

"It may involve finding new channels to release the water and also to take mitigating measures, so there is other available flood plain because we don't want properties to be flooded as a consequence of raising the level of the pitch."

Submerged Gloucester FC ground
Water swamped the entire pitch during last summer's floods

Ms Follett said up to 1m in funding could be made available through the Football Foundation.

"As I understand it, the club hold aspirations to develop a community facility and this may be a funding route open to them if their aim is achieved," she said.

"I would also urge the local authorities in Gloucester to undertake a full review of their sports provision, plan strategically for the future and consider whether the club's desire for a new stadium could be met within the provision of the sporting facility needs of the local community."

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