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Stadium Delayed By Year
By: Stephen Bateman
Grimsby Town's plans to move into a new stadium have been delayed by a year, according to Mariners vice-chairman Bryan Huxford. "We are a year back now and we are looking at early autumn 2002," said Mr. Huxford after last night's meeting of NELC.
He also spoke of the mystery investor who is reportedly poised to pump millions of pounds into the presently cash-starved club, saying that they are still "waiting in the wings." Having overcome a major obstacle in having NELC agree in principle to amend the Local Plan, the club must now process a planning application, which should be completed within a month. "If they give the go-ahead we'll start doing what we need to do to put the first brick in place by the end of the summer," said a jubilant Mr Huxford, before he went on to praise the behaviour of the Grimsby Town fans that attended the meeting: "The people who were there were very controlled and adult. They were very supportive and they did a good job for the club and deserve a pat on the back." The man in charge of the stadium development, Gerald Knight, said that it was still much too early put an exact date on the completion of the 20,100 capacity stadium. "It is, I think, too early to start talking about a detailed time because we have been set back, and we have to look at the situation again," commented Mr Knight. "We have to get the planning application considered and hopefully that can be done as soon as possible. Then we've got to get the show on the road in terms of the tenants, the funding and the contractors, and just get it built. "In terms of attracting those, we've got some credibility now because we have council backing." Mr Knight then went on to admit that he believed the stadium project had been irretrievably damaged on July 13th of this year. The club has vowed that it will do all it can to take on board any input from residents of Great Coates. "We will be delighted to work with the people of Great Coates on the details of the proposal to make it as acceptable to them as possible," said Mr Knight, while the Grimsby Town vice-chairman assured the people of Great Coates that he empathised with their current situation: "I know how they feel. I felt like that on the 13th of July. They're all gutted and we will do everything we possibly can to placate their concerns. "Two years from now, they'll realise that what we have been saying is correct, and that they won't have a problem with the stadium"
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