Date set for sale of Peterborough United ground back to club from council

A date has been set for the London Road stadium and land surrounding it to be sold back into the control of Peterborough United Football Club.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 5:25 pm
The Weston Homes Stadium

On Wednesday, 31 March 2021, Peterborough City Council will sell the land and buildings, including the Weston Homes Stadium, the Allia Business Centre and ancillary land to London Road Peterborough Properties Ltd.

Peterborogh United are currently planning a move to a new stadium, proposed to be built on The Embankment.

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The city council bought the Peterborough United ground and its surrounding land back in 2010 for £8.4million, to secure the future of the football club in its long-term home and to continue its economic and social benefit to the city for years to come.

It will sell the ground back for £6,095,000, minus a £1.25million discount given to the club in recognition of its economic and social benefit to the city and £2.8million investment in the Allia Business Centre, which offers flexible working space and support for start-up businesses in the city.

However, throughout the past decade the council has unlocked the economic potential of the surrounding land by selling some off for property development (295 carbon neutral homes on the Vista development, resulting in £383,268 section 106 contribution from developers).

As part of the sale, it will also retain the London Road car park, valued at £700,000, which it plans to sell to developers for use as affordable city centre carbon zero housing.

This, combined with the rent paid by the club over the past 10 years (£4.08million) and ongoing council tax payments (£2million) and ongoing business rates (£491,291) mean the total profit made by Peterborough City Council on the deal stands at just over £1.7million.

Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “As a lifelong Posh fan, I’m thankful that the city council was able to save the club from being bought by bought by property investors back in 2010 and retain it in the heart of our city centre. It was originally our aim to sell the club back at a later date for the same price.

“However, we have been able to exceed our expectations, by delivering £4.4million of profit for Peterborough taxpayers, of which the income from council tax and business rates will continue for years to come.

“I’m also reassured that we’ve been able to add a clause to the sale, which states that the stadium can’t be sold as anything other than a football club, unless an equivalent site is built by the Posh elsewhere in the city. This builds on the original covenant agreed by the football club and the Posh Supporters Trust in securing the economic and social benefits of the club that are enjoyed by the city as a whole.”

Dr Jason Neale, co-owner of Peterborough United Football Club, said: “This is a banner day for council, club, and community.

“We thank the council for its dedication and collaboration in bringing this deal to fruition. The POSH owners are steadfast in focussing on four objectives: improving our youth system and facilities, growing the club’s revenue streams, returning the Weston Homes Stadium to club control, and getting POSH back to the championship and thriving at that level. I’m proud to report we are making great progress on all fronts and this is a major milestone on our journey.”

The council has so far secured just over £1.7million profit following the purchase of the club for £8.4million back in 2010 and the £2.8m investment in the Allia Business Centre:

£5.265 million gained from selling the football ground, future business centre and 12 car parking spaces back to Peterborough United Football Club - Includes£950,000 discount given to the club in recognition of its economic and social benefit to the city.

£700,000 - Value of London Road car park, which has been retained to provide 82 affordable city centre carbon zero apartments through the council’s Medesham Homes partnership.

£491,291 in business rates through the creation of the Allia Business Centre - ongoing income for the city council, which will continue to be collected in future years.

£2million in council tax for Vista carbon zero homes - ongoing income for the city council, which will continue to be collected in future years.

£4.5million in rent paid by Peterborough United Football Club

£383,268 section 106 contribution from capital receipt from Vista development

*£12,919,559- Total

Cllr Holdich added: “The city council has, and will continue to, work closely with Peterborough United to the benefit of the city as a whole. The club is an intrinsic part of Peterborough’s national identify and brings in over £7million of revenue to our city each year. It boosts our tourism, improves fitness, creates local jobs and improves the health and wellbeing of over 1,000 young people from all communities each week.”