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Nottingham Forest fans secure ground as community asset

One of the most iconic football stadiums in the country – Nottingham Forest’s City ground – has been added to the community asset register.

Nottingham Forest supporter’s trust confirmed last week they had been successful in their application to Rushcliffe council to have the stadium put on the register, which means the fans will have a say should the ground ever be put up for sale.

If a property is listed as an asset of community value, owners cannot sell it without first letting the council know.

The notification also triggers a six-week period when local community groups and parish councils can express an interest in bidding for the property instead.

The ground has been Nottingham Forest’s home for more than 120 years and saw many victories by Brian Clough’s squad in the 1970s.

It is owned by the club, although the land is owned under freehold by Nottingham council.

A council spokesman told New Start the authority has no plans to sell the land.

The football club was facing an uncertain future until Greek shipping magnate, Evangelos Marinakis, bought it in May.

The chairman of the supporter’s trust, Elliott Stanley, said the club’s new owners backed the community asset application.

‘It seems appropriate that this news should come at the exact moment the ground is receiving some much-needed refurbishment,’ he added. ‘It all adds to the feel-good factor that is surrounding the football club right now.

‘The ground being formally registered as an asset of community value is something that we set out to secure, not only because it aligns with our vision of safeguarding the future of the club but, perhaps more crucially, it ensures that fans have a voice on that future,’ said Mr Stanley.

‘It is also incredibly encouraging that this application was supported by the new executive board of the club, underlying their clear intention to embrace fan involvement in forging a positive future for Nottingham Forest.’

The chairman of Nottingham Forest football club, Nicholas Randall, commented: ‘Supporting the bid to add our historic home ground to the community asset register underlines our commitment to place the club at the heart of the community and furthermore to give fans a central role in shaping our future.’

Several other football grounds around the country are also on the community asset register, including Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park, Blackburn Rover’s Ewood Park and Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground.

New Start Magazine has previously reported on other community-based football projects, such as FC United of Manchester – a club owned and run by its 4,001 members.

The club has been set up as a community benefit society and membership is open to all, with everyone an equal co-owner, holding one voting share in the club.

  • Read more on communities and football clubs taking control of local assets here.

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