Questions & Answers
TrustSTFC put 25 questions on the new stadium to Mark Devlin and he’s attempted to answer them in as much detail as he can at this early stage. Here are the questions and answers:
1. What provision, apart from the current council project to improve the road link from Moredon to the Great Western Way, is being made to improve road links to the new site? Will there be park and ride to compensate for the inadequate parking on site? Will there be a bus service from the town centre?
2. If the Shaw Tip site gets snarled up in planning objections etc is there a time limit at which either the club or St Modwens would have to pull the plug and either look for a new site or else abandon the project all together?
3. If the current proposals do not get the go-ahead, is there a "Plan B"?
4. Who will own the new stadium and sports village?
5. Other than improved facilities, how does the club benefit directly from moving to the proposed new stadium?
6. What will be the effect on ticket prices? Will they be in line with those charged at the County Ground or will they need to rise to pay for the new ground?
7. How will the financial structures work in relation to revenues from the broader "sports village" complex being available to fund the club?
8. Is the building of the new stadium/sports village entirely self-financing or will some of the costs have to be paid off over time? Ie will there be an ongoing debt for the club to service to either the developers or the holding company once the stadium is built?
9. What will happen to the covenant on the County Ground and will there be a similar covenant on the new site? Have any discussions on this matter taken place with the Goddard Estate?
10. Will there be any opportunity for fans or local businesses to invest in the venture?
11. What plans are there in relation to assets on the current site, such as the Nationwide stand? Will these be sold and if so will any money raised be used to help finance the new ground or put back into the football club?
12. If the planned re-development of the County Ground falls through for whatever reason, would the sports village complex also go by the wayside (i.e. are the two developments interdependent)?
13. Can the new stadium be built while the club is still playing at the County Ground, or does the development of the current site have to start first in order to release funds for the new stadium? If so, what arrangements will be made for a temporary ground while the new stadium is built?
14. Have St Modwen bought the STPL/Bryant Homes debenture? If not, have they otherwise loaned the club money and if so would they have a similar hold over the club should the joint venture fail in some way?
15. Currently, Swindon Borough Council are the club's landlords at the County Ground. While this arrangement has many problems, it does at least provide some element of "community ownership" to protect the ground from predatory "chancers" coming in to the club with a view to asset stripping the ground. What safeguards would be put in place to prevent such predators moving in on the new stadium, should the Wills family have to sell up their stake in the holding company for any reason?
16. Is there any provision for the football club (as opposed to the holding company) to have a veto on the sale of the land on which the new stadium stands in order to provide protection against predation in the future?
17. Which other sports clubs have expressed an interest in the rugby and cricket facilities? If none are forthcoming will this part of the development proceed or be put on hold. Are the other sporting areas to be funded by these sports' governing bodies/ lottery or in some other way?
18. Will the new stadium include safe standing areas? If the current regulatory framework makes it difficult to include safe standing from the outset, will the design allow for some sections to be easily converted once the regulations do allow for safe standing (i.e. design safe standing in so it will be easier and cheaper to convert post-opening)?
19. The proposed site of the new stadium has aroused fierce objections from some local residents - with the benefit of hindsight, should more consideration have been made of the likelihood of local residents' objections and could more have been done upfront to head these protests off?
20. Beyond the recent consultation days, are the club and/or St Modwens going to try to meet with the local residents' protest groups to attempt to allay their fears and/or deal with some of their concerns?
21. What discussions have been held (or are planned) with the Great Western Community Forest management and other wildlife groups to negate the loss of wildlife habitat?
22. What energy conservation measures will be incorporated into the new stadium and what savings would these bring year on year? Will this be incorporated at design stage (e.g. in the choice of building materials)?
23. Will there be adequate provision for a covered area for disabled supporters and their carers?
24. Do the new stadium plans include any provision for crèche facilities for fans with young children?
25. Will the bloody PA work at the new ground?
Swindon Town Community Mutual Limited, trading as TrustSTFC, an Industrial and Provident Society registered with the Registrar of Friendly Societies under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965-78. All references to the ‘Trust’ or TrustSTFC on this site are to the Swindon Town Community Mutual Limited that holds funds, under its rules, for the benefit of the community and not in trust for its members.