Evesham United FC on the move at last
25th November 2011
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THE LONG running saga over who should fund the new access road into Evesham United's new ground which has left them locked out for almost six months has finally ended.
The Highways Agency has agreed to waive the £50,000 lump sum it expected the club to pay to maintain the new roundabout which needs to be built to gain access to the ground off Cheltenham Road.
With all parties involved in funding the £700,000 project now happy, work is set to begin on the new road and roundabout in January and the club could be in its new ground by next May.
The move follows a meeting in Birmingham a few weeks ago attended by Evesham's MP Peter Luff, United chairman Jim Cockerton, roads minister Mike Penning and representatives from the Football Foundation and the Highways Agency.
The Highways Agency suggested it was unreasonable to expect the club to pay the full cost of building a new roundabout to replace one in need of maintenance and then expect them to pay £50,000 on top for its upkeep in the future and this was agreed by Mr Penning at the Department for Transport.
The Football Foundation has also agreed to pump more money into the scheme meaning the club now only needs to find another £50,000 to complete the funding compared to the £200,000 it needed a few weeks ago. It is expected United will take out another loan to cover the shortfall.

The stadium officially opened in July but the lack of an access road means it has been left empty.
Mr Cockerton said he was delighted an agreement had finally been reached.
"It's been a very long road but which can now see light at the end of the tunnel which is wonderful," he added.
"It's been sad seeing the stadium finished but sitting there empty and so we cannot wait to start using it, hopefully by May."
The town's MP Peter Luff has been lobbying for the road and roundabout to get the go ahead.
"I am relieved – and delighted - that the club’s access problems have been resolved," he said.
"This is a real home win for the club and comes after relentless lobbying by me, by the club and by the Football Foundation.
"This decision reduced the funding gap to a manageable amount.
"I will continue to work with Evesham Football Club and I am extremely optimistic for its future."

By Gary Smee, Evesham Observer.



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