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New Stadium News
By: Bill Osborne
GRIMSBY Town Football Club have announced the formation of a steering group to drive the club's new stadium project. The project is to be named 'Gateway to Grimsby' because of its location at the A180 Great Coates interchange.
The steering group is made up of representatives from North East Lincolnshire Council, the Grimsby Institute, Business Link and GTFC.
Town chairman John Fenty said: "A new stadium cannot be sustainable and viable if it caters purely for footballing needs."
"The club has been proactive over the years in providing a very successful study support centre at Blundell Park, which assists young children to acquire basic skills in literacy, numeracy and IT."
"We also run the very popular Football in the Community Programme. The new stadium provides us with a unique opportunity to build on these programmes and develop other and even more exciting initiatives."
"With social inclusion acting as a key driving force, the primary objective of the project is to create a partnership with the local community," said Mr Fenty.
"Working closely with the Grimsby Institute and local schools, the plan is to make available superb health and fitness facilities, as well as education services."
In creating a link between sport and health, including tackling issues such as obesity and smoking and providing opportunities for learning, the project hopes to mirror similar schemes in other parts of the country, which have proved successful in reducing truancy and crime levels.
The benefits of Gateway to Grimsby will extend far beyond issues of sport, health and education.
The partnership created around the venture will be the biggest community initiative ever created in Grimsby, Cleethorpes and the surrounding area.
"It will offer sustainable regeneration and connect to many urban renaissance initiatives prompted by the government," said Mr Fenty. Key elements of the project, in the short, medium and long term, will be:
A policy to buy locally wherever possible.
Significant employment during construction and 428 permanent jobs. The redevelopment of Blundell Park, with social housing providing a long term boost for local shops.
Synergies with Europarc, including public transport, hotel, shopping, and parking.
Small business start-up within the stadium.
Retail development which will reduce out-of-town shopping, giving more choice for the community.
A park and ride service, which will help to ease traffic congestion in Cleethorpes and the town centre.
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