Peterborough United given £830k discount on stadium deal as final terms agreed with council
The sale of the Peterborough United stadium from the city council to the club’s owners has been agreed - with Posh netting a discount of £830,000.
The sign off will come in the next few days with Posh paying £5.265 million for the Weston Homes Stadium, Allia Future Business Centre and 12 car parking spaces while the council will hold onto much of the surrounding land it bought as part of the original deal, including the London Road car park.
The council bought the stadium and land for £8.4 million from a property developer back in 2010. It said including the sale, it will have netted taxpayers £12.3 million, with more to follow from council tax collections at the Vista carbon zero homes.
However, a newly released report the cash-strapped local authority states that is granting a 20 per cent discount on the sale of the assets in order to “recognise the economic benefit provided to the city by the football club”.
Crucially, though, the first £4.1 million instalment will be paid by the end of this month which the council was relying on to erase its budget deficit for the 2020/21 financial year which begins in April.
Payments of around £388,333 will be made in the following three years,
The contract also includes a clause which means if the value of the land increases from a future development, the council will share the uplift.
The report also reveals that the council has agreed a £4.7 million grant to Posh to “fund the enhancement of the facilities” at its training ground in Oundle Road and to “increase community use”.
The report states: “This project will have an immediate economic benefit and will promote the community outreach of the club, including immediate access by the school located next to the training ground (Nene Park Academy).”
The deal has been reached between the local authority and Peterborough United Properties Limited which has been set up by Posh co-owners Darragh MacAnthony, Stewart ‘Randy’ Thompson and Dr Jason Neale, who will own the stadium separately to the club.
The two parties have been working on the complex deal for a number of months, with the Peterborough Telegraph revealing in October 2018 that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work towards an arrangement.
Both Posh and the council also shook hands on a deal last August in front of supporters at the ground in London Road, but the final paperwork is only now in the process of being signed.
Yet despite agreeing terms, Posh are aiming to move out of the stadium and into a new one on the Embankment for the start of the 2022/23 season.
Dr Neale told the PT last month that the club and council will determine how best to utilise the London Road ground once it is no longer hosting Posh matches.
The council report states that the business centre has been sold for £1.87 million and car parking for £150,000, with a £75,000 discount “applied to the valuation of the land”.
It notes that the assets being sold by the council had been valued by its property advisers NPS Peterborough Ltd at £6.17 million, adding: “The council recognises the economic and social benefit provided to the city by the football club in this location which justifies the discount given in this transaction.”
A covenant requiring that the London Road ground be used for professional football remains in place, the report adds.