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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 February, 2004, 16:34 GMT
New hope for football stadium
Hartsdown Park as it stands now
The scheme for Hartsdown Park now includes a 6.75m hotel
Bosses at Margate football club have said they have found financial backers for a project to build a new stadium.

Plans to develop Hartsdown Park were thrown out by Thanet District Council in January because of doubts over the funding for the scheme.

It was feared the Conference side, which has shared the ground of Kent neighbours Dover Athletic since last year, could fold as a result.

But Margate's Keith Piper said the necessary money had now been found.

It has been a matter of negotiating a position without any strength as far as financial clout is concerned
Keith Piper, Margate FC stadium manager

Mr Piper, the club's stadium manager, said: "We are talking about a scheme that now includes a hotel that values at 6.75m.

"We've got to deliver that funding package to the council on Tuesday and we are hoping they will be able to give us a quick response and give us the solution we need to move forward."

Concerns about conditions imposed when planning permission was granted for a 6,000-seater stadium have also delayed the project.

Mr Piper said he believed all the issues apart from the scheme's finance had now been resolved.

Big difficulty

He said: "The council has made it public both on radio and in the press that with the funding in place, the scheme can go forward.

"We've been working on it for a number of months and it's very difficult to raise that sort of money without making any contribution yourself.

"That's been a big difficulty for this football club because they don't have a piece of land to sell to make a contribution towards the cost.

"They don't have a chairman that can invest a million pounds so it has been a matter of negotiating a position without any strength as far as financial clout is concerned."

The club was formed in 1896 and moved to Hartsdown Park in 1929.

The proposed development will include a full-size grass pitch, an artificial pitch and car parking.

Life ticket for football fans
02 Jul 03  |  Kent
Final stadium plans approved
17 Apr 03  |  Kent


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