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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Carlisle Utd seek more talks with council on new stadium plans

CARLISLE United want a fresh round of talks with council chiefs as it continues to consider plans for a new stadium.

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Aiming to make a move: Carlisle United are keen to relocate from Brunton Park to a 12,000 all-seater site at Kingmoor Park

The club has written to Carlisle City Council chief executive Jason Gooding and leader Joe Hendry asking whether officials will help them develop their proposals.

United want to leave their historic Brunton Park home for a 12,000 all-seater stadium at Kingmoor Park.

Funding the move will hinge on whether a so-called “enabling development” – possibly a retail scheme – is given the go-ahead.

The possibility of that could depend on a report into the amount of non-food shopping space needed in Carlisle, which has been drawn up for the authority by planning consultants.

United are keen to see the document as soon as possible to see whether it will hinder the chances of the project going ahead.

Club chiefs have also asked whether they should work in isolation on the plans, or whether officials want to work with them on pulling their vision – Project Blue Yonder – together.

In a statement, they said: “The letters requested sight of the report which was alluded to by council officers at a meeting in September which indicated that an enabling development for non-food retailing greater than 200,000sq ft would have little or no chance of success.

“The letters further stated that we hope councillors will continue to support the project because club directors are conscious they must provide fans with better facilities, and provide a venue to play football at the highest level, which the citizens of the city and Cumbria can be proud of.

“We would, of course, welcome a further meeting to explain our intended path of travel and to discuss ways in which all parties can engage in a positive way as we progress our thinking and ambitions, not only for the club but for the city.

“The club remains committed to full transparency with our fans and supporters and we now await a response before we take our next step.”

As well as writing to the council’s leaders, shareholders from the League One club have also written to all city councillors telling them of the steps they have taken.

United have urged fans to show their support for the stadium plan, which would give the club a ground of Championship standards.

A planning application has not yet, however, been submitted to city council.

The authority confirmed that it had received the club’s letter and is drafting a response.

Following last month’s meeting with the club , city council officials said talks were on-going.

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