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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Deal agreed for Maidstone stadium
Paul Bowden-Brown, Maidstone United chairman
The original Maidstone United FC went out of business in 1992
Maidstone United FC should have a new football stadium to move into in less than two years' time.

The Kent club's chairman announced on Friday he had signed a 99-year lease to acquire Ministry of Defence land in Maidstone for a new stadium.

Paul Bowden-Brown, who has been in charge of Maidstone United for 14 years, said building work would soon start at the James Whatman Way site.

A 10-year loan to fund the stadium has come from the borough council.

Planning permission for the development at James Whatman Way, on the outskirts of Maidstone town centre, was actually granted in November 2004.

Mr Bowden-Brown said dealing with financial and legal obstacles had caused him many sleepless nights in the 16 months since.

Artist's impression of new Maidstone United ground
The club has played in Dartford and Sittingbourne since 1988

"I knew it was going to be a challenge," he said.

But he added: "We can now officially start to prepare the construction timetable for the new stadium.

"I hope this will give real hope to all supporters new and old that we now have a chance to build a new home within Maidstone."

The planned stadium will incorporate a main stand, two covered terraces, changing rooms, a club house and parking facilities.

A club statement said the aim was for matches to begin there during the 2007-08 season, by which time they hope to have climbed up the non-league football ladder.

Maidstone United are currently second and pushing for promotion from the Kentish Observer Football League.


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