THE saga surrounding the future of the former home of Scarborough Football Club could finally be nearing a resolution.
Scarborough Council chiefs will sit down at a behind-closed-doors meeting on Wednesday to thrash out the fate of the Seamer Road stadium, which remains derelict despite hopes that demolition work was to start late last year.
The land is expected to be used for housing as part of plans to build 150 new homes in the town, with a new multi-million pound sports complex to be developed in Weaponness Coach Park.
Council leader Tom Fox said details of a report, which will be discussed at the meeting, had not yet been released to the public as it contained “commercially sensitive information”.
He added: “It is important that people are aware that the council has made a commitment to develop a stadium and sports village to enable more senior football to return and, to achieve this, it is another step in the chain of events.”
Football was first played at the ground in 1898 but it has remained disused since June 2007, when Scarborough FC went out of business amid crippling debts.
In the past four years, the stadium has fallen into a state of disrepair and has regularly become the target of vandals, arsonists and even trespassers looking for antique bottles buried on the site.
The council bought the stadium in 2008 for £1.335 million but safety concerns meant the local authority had no other option than to bring an end to more than a century of history.
Engineers found it would cost a further £1 million to return the ground to an acceptable standard. Planning policy requires the provision of a replacement stadium.
In October the Evening News revealed that the council had put out a tender to level the former stadium. The news – turn to page 3
faint hopes that football could one day return to the venue.
It is understood that the main stand, clubhouse and shed stand would be the first to go with the possibility of other stands being moved to the new sports village or demolished at a later date.
Plans are still in development for the proposed new sports village which could be built at a cost of up to £22 million.
In, January Cllr Fox reported a shortlist of six private companies to deliver the scheme had been drawn up. The list will be further whittled down to three bidders once outline proposals are received.
It is hoped that the sports village – which could include a swimming pool, a sports hall, outdoor pitches as well as community, health and education facilities – will be open within five years.
Once complete the leisure village will include a community football ground to a standard equivalent to Football Association Grade C,
It is expected that the whole process, through to completion of construction, should take about three years with football returning to Scarborough in time for the 2014/2015 season.