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|A Step Closer|
Stadium Contractor Appointed
By: Rob Sedgwick
THE Mariners have appointed a contractor to build their new stadium at Great Coates, now pencilled in to open in August 2011. Castlemore Securities, one of the UK's leading commercial property developers, has signed a deal with the football club, giving the developer exclusive rights to work on the planning and subsequent delivery of the proposed £81m project.
Mr Fenty has proclaimed the new site, located just off the A180, is a "flagship project at the gateway to Grimsby". As well as the stadium there will be mixed development for retail, community, and business users.
There have been many obstacles placed in front on the new ground, which has already taken 14 years since its inception, most recently a threat by development company Henry Boot who raised an objection over the granting of planning permission, but a judge awarded in Town's favour last month. Had Town lost the case the project would have been scrapped, and Grimsby Town may have faced administration and possible closure, with their future not viable at their current Blundell Park ground.
Castlemore Securities will be responsible for the rest of the project excluding the stadium, including finding the approximately 10 retailers needed to share the site.
Town chairman John Fenty in a statement said: "For us, the local community is a priority and the development will include new education, sporting and recreational facilities for young people, as well as shops, and a substantial number of new jobs will be created.
"The appointment of Castlemore to work in partnership with us will enable the project to be moved forward through the planning process.
"Castlemore has over 35 years of experience in delivering major development schemes like ours and they will be starting work immediately on detailed design and planning."
Brad Critcher, Managing Director of Castlemore Securities, said: "Our appointment means that solid plans will be going forward for this exciting development following many years of discussion and doubt.
"We fully appreciate the range of benefits to the community that will arise if all goes well with the planning process. We expect to be able to make a detailed planning application later this year and, if this is successful, work will begin on site late in 2009."
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