Asfordby FC make bid to safeguard Hoby Road home for sport

Asfordby FC are looking to safeguard the facilities at Hoby Road for future generations EMN-180512-093927002
Asfordby FC are looking to safeguard the facilities at Hoby Road for future generations EMN-180512-093927002
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Asfordby Football Club are looking to safeguard their Hoby Road home for future generations as an Asset of Community Value.

The club this week applied to Melton Council to have the Asfordby Acres site protected for community use and end any uncertainty over its future course.

Former Asfordby FC chairman Andy Harrison with Melton Mowbray Town Estate senior townwarden Dinah Hickling after a lease was agreed in 2015 EMN-180512-093712002

Former Asfordby FC chairman Andy Harrison with Melton Mowbray Town Estate senior townwarden Dinah Hickling after a lease was agreed in 2015 EMN-180512-093712002

The 19.75-acre site was established in 1998 by Asfordby Amateurs Sports and Social Club which was formed as a not-for-profit organisation by a 14-strong group of trustees.

The facility was passed on to Melton Mowbray Town Estate in 2014 who changed the name to Asfordby Acres, and then agreed a 30-year lease with Asfordby FC in late 2016

Asfordby FC chairman Simon Atherley believes gaining assurance for their home’s long-term future would allow them to invest in the site.

“I am not sure how many people realise the scale and importance of the facility to the local community,” he said.

“We have 22 football teams, including girls, boys, senior sides and inclusives, who train and play weekly on the pitches.

“In addition we have badminton, martial arts and modellers.

“We estimate that including parents, grandparents and private parties, we are not only providing an opportunity for more than 300 players to take part in sport, but also fulfilling a vital community function of bringing people together with a shared interest.

“Asfordby Acres is run by a registered charity through the football club and all of the volunteers give their time for the sole benefit of the local community.”

Asfordby FC have been backed in the move by Asfordby Parish Council.

If successful, the site will be afforded legal protection, and current owners Melton Mowbray Town Estate would not be able to sell the property for a set period.

They would also have to offer Asfordby FC the first opportunity to purchase.

But Atherley was keen to stress it was a precautionary move and emphasised their good working partnership with the charity.

“The Town Estate have been generous landlords and this application is not a reflection on our relationship with them,” he added.

“In actual fact we are exploring opportunities to work with them to invest in the facilities at Hoby Road.

“In reality I’m conscious that the trustees of the charity are in place for a limited time, and rightly so.

“Therefore we want to provide a platform for continuity into the future.”