Cobblers fans asked to vote on the club's plan to complete East Stand
'We all felt this is a good opportunity again for supporters to tell the club whether they support the proposed deal and whether we have a mandate to move forward.'
Cobblers fans are being asked to vote on whether or not you support the club's plan to complete the East Stand at Sixfields.
Now it has been announced by both parties that Northampton Town and West Northants Council have agreed a deal in principal for the completion of the stand, the club is looking for the views of supporters on the deal.
All the information is currently available online, including the club's detailed East Stand development plans, which were released in the summer following an open house for all supporters, the independent report by Lambert Smith Hampton commissioned and released by West Northants Council, and the member briefing to all council members.
The club believe there will be many benefits, which can be seen below, and supporters are able to cast their vote here - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PDDZQYW.
The vote will remain open until 9pm on Sunday, November 28, and a ballot box will be available in the club store.
• East Stand completion
Completion of the East Stand is the priority of any agreement and will happen before any land can be purchased by the club for enabling development.
• Increased annual income generated for the club from the East Stand
There will be significant additional monies generated for the club on matchdays and non-matchdays from the new hospitality areas and boxes which is expected to be over £250,000 net income per year.
• Pitch facing hospitality
Pitch facing hospitality not only brings increased revenue but also greater prestige, exposure and value for possible partners. Having pitch facing hospitality can also increase non-matchday revenues as many companies see a benefit to meetings and events with the pitch as a backdrop.
• Disabled viewing platform
The football club will consult further with disabled and wheelchair supporters and Level Playing Field in the final design process but access for disabled and wheelchair supporters to the hospitality and disabled platform areas to replace the disabled platform lost from the previous East Stand is a priority.
• New parking situated on site
A completed East Stand will provide additional parking behind the East Stand; plus the football club plans a review of all the parking on site to enable better design and management across the whole site.
• Community use of East Stand
The new facilities will be available for use by both Northampton Town FC Community Trust and the club’s education department. This will provide meeting rooms for community groups, space for programmes aimed at health and wellbeing and teaching space. It will allow us to increase our engagement with schools offering an alternative learning environment and positive experiences for local youngsters. There will also be improved activities and facilities for families on matchdays as well as additional hospitality at the community pitch activities that take place each summer including local cup finals.
• Improved financial stability for the football club
Increased revenue will always add stability to a football club and provide better financial protections for longer term success.
• Potential Fan Zone
Space for a Fan Zone project has been earmarked behind the new East Stand and further consultation would be planned to decide on the best usage.
Chairman Kelvin Thomas said: "There are always conversations around any proposed deal, but we are very confident with the extensive work that has been put into this, it is very much in the best interests of the club and the deal presents the very best chance for the East Stand to be completed without adding long-term debt onto the club.
"Given what went on before our time at the club and to ensure transparency it is only right the club's plans are available online, the WNC independent report is also available plus the briefing to council members, therefore all of the information is in the public domain for supporters and the wider community to view.
"As a club we have engaged strongly and successfully with our fanbase over the last couple of months with votes to decide the elected supporter’s representative on the board of directors, and also next season's home kit with the upcoming 125-year celebrations.
"With that in mind, and in discussion with new supporters representative Tom (Cliffe) we all felt this is a good opportunity again for supporters to tell the club whether they support the proposed deal and whether we have a mandate to move forward."
Tom Cliffe, the democratically elected supporters' representative now on the club's board of directors, also has no doubt the deal is in the best interests of the club.
He said: "I have seen all the information and I have spoken to a lot of people since being elected and it is my opinion that this deal is very much in the best interests of the club, it is also clear that the vast majority of supporters I have spoken to, either at matches, online or even in the street support the completion of the East Stand.
"I think it is important that the opinion of Cobblers supporters are heard ahead of the council meetings and I encourage all supporters to cast their vote to let everyone know their thoughts.
"In terms of West Northamptonshire Council, last week Leader Jonathan Nunn, speaking on BBC Radio Northampton said the Council used a highly respected independent firm, Lambert Smith Hampton, to assess whether this agreed deal represents good value for the tax payer of West Northamptonshire and he confirmed that their report shows that this deal does.
“He also went on say that other goals of West Northamptonshire Council are the completion of the East Stand and a sustainable football club for the future, and they hope with the additional income that the East Stand will generate will help to achieve this.
"I know these are or should be shared goals by everyone interested in the club’s success and I feel this deal presents the best opportunity for that.”