Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Thursday, 7 June 2007 17:21 UK

Club agree stadium buy-out deal

Britannia Stadium
It has been described as a "win" for the club and Stoke town

Stoke City Football Club have reached an outline agreement to take full control of their ground, the Britannia Stadium, in a 6m deal.

It would buy out the city council, which wants to invest in Stoke town centre, where traders "suffered" when the old Victoria Ground disappeared.

The council would receive 5m and Stoke on Trent Regeneration Ltd 1m.

The deal has been agreed by the council's executive and will go before full council on Thursday next week.

The authority contributed 3.1m a decade ago.

Community facilities

The football club's chairman Peter Coates told their website: "This will give us the opportunity to further develop the club and the stadium as one.

"With ownership secure it can be a catalyst for carrying out improvements in the stadium that will benefit supporters."

The council would receive 4.5m in cash and at least 500,000 in new community facilities at the stadium.

Labour's elected mayor, Mark Meredith, described the news as a "win" for the football club, the council and the regeneration of Stoke town.

He said: "We want to make sure that we bring jobs back to Stoke... maybe housing as a mixture and we want to encourage private sector investment into the centre of Stoke."

The city council spokesman said: "Our investment kick-started the regeneration of an area, Trentham Lakes, which was the site of a former coal mine.

"Now there are more jobs at Trentham Lakes than there were when the coal mine was open."

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