Does The Future Of STFC Lie In Britwell?
Slough Borough Council has been looking at ways to regenerate the Kennedy Park/Wentworth Avenue areas of Britwell. One suggestion has been for Slough Town Football Club to build a new ground on eleven acres of what SBC have referred to as “waste ground” near Kennedy Park. This would not in itself qualify as “regenerating” the area, but it could prove the catalyst that leads to more schemes encompassing a much wider scope.
Slough Borough Council hope that the Britwell stadium proposal could provide a means of attracting funds in the form of grants and private investment to finance the wider regeneration of the area in question. Suggestions for the area include improving leisure facilities, shopping areas, parks, open spaces, lighting and neighbourhood improvements. A feasibility study has been promised later this year to determine whether a regeneration scheme centred on the football ground is viable financially, socially and environmentally.
Slough Town Football club are currently ground sharing with near neighbours and
rivals, Windsor and Eton FC, at their Stag Meadow ground. A new stadium would put an end to years of uncertainty for STFC and provide the club with a long awaited permanent home.
A report in the Slough Express dated 18th March 2004, gives details of the initial results of a survey carried out by the Britwellian Independent Liberal and Liberal Democrat Group (BILLD). The BILLD issued a questionnaire to all 3,700 households in Britwell asking what residents would like to see on Kennedy Park or the field next to it. The options listed were a football stadium for 6,000 – 10,000, shops, offices, an hotel, car parking, houses, a road linking Britwell to Northborough, a sports centre for local residents, a swimming pool a play centre for the children of Britwell or a park with flowers, shrubs, trees and seats. Residents were also asked for their own suggestions as to how they would like to improve Kennedy Park.
On 16th March 2004, the BILLD announced the initial results but restricted this only to the question specifically asking whether residents wanted a “Football stadium for 6,000 – 10,000”
Replies received 563
Yes to a Football Stadium 100
No to a Football Stadium 393
Despite the poor response, the Slough Express reports that local BILLD councillors have expressed “surprise” at the result. Cllr Paul Janik (BILLD) told the Slough Express “I didn’t think that the anti-football stadium feeling would be so high but now we have the results we will be sending them into the Town Hall”.
The Slough Express goes on to state that the findings of the survey differ from the Labour Party’s survey carried out in September 2003, which showed a response in favour of the proposal.
The leader of Slough Borough Council, Cllr Rob Anderson told the Slough Express that he felt the difference in the results was explainable “The way the BILLD have presented the plan is that there’s going to be a big concrete block on Kennedy Park, but what people don’t realise is that it will be on waste ground at the back of it”.
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