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Ollerton secure ground lease and become fan owned

20th July, 2022

An exciting new era for sport and community activity in Ollerton has begun with the launch of community-owned Ollerton Town Community Football Club.

After years of uncertainty since the closure of Ollerton & Bevercotes Miners Welfare, the long-term future of sport at the Walesby Lane Sports Ground has finally been secured with the signing of a 25-year lease.

This not only guarantees a sporting venue in Ollerton for the foreseeable future, but the lease also allows the site to have access to a wide range of funding which shall go towards the improvement and development of the land, with the aim of creating a community sports hub for Ollerton and the surrounding area.

The land has been the home of the football club for many years and over that time the club has been called several different names including Ollerton & Bevercotes FC before changing its name in 1994 to Ollerton Town FC.

Moving forward, the club will be called Ollerton Town Community Football Club to reflect the creation of the new Community Benefit Society.

This CBS was developed with the aim of "creating the most vibrant community club that provides a space and facility to develop recreational participation throughout the Ollerton and surrounding areas."

Whilst the football club will continue on the site and remain in charge of their own club affairs, the CBS will look to develop and oversee a new facility that will be the home of the football club as well as any other sports teams that join the site in the future.

Though the football club is at the heart of this development currently, in future the plan is to develop a multi-sports facility which enriches the sporting opportunities for Ollerton and its residents.

With the Walesby Lane site at the heart of Ollerton already, and with more houses being built nearby as part of the Gleeson Homes development behind Petersmith Drive, the site should play an integral part of community and that is why anyone can have their say and own their part of the Ollerton Town Community Football Club through its membership scheme.

For £1, people can become members and owners of the club for life, guaranteeing them a place at the AGM and a vote on any big issues, putting the facility at Walesby Lane truly into the hands of the community so the town of Ollerton can work together to provide sports facilities and a community space that all can be proud of.

It is hoped that under the stewardship of Ollerton Town Community Football Club there shall be a phased-development of the site that leads to a natural growth of the sporting opportunities on offer, including women’s, junior and disabled sport which shall only benefit Ollerton and the surrounding area.

Richard Irving, Network Manager for Community-Owned Clubs at the Football Supporters Association said: "By joining Ollerton Town Community FC, as a member you will be contributing to a club that now operates the same model as over forty other football clubs in England and Wales from AFC WImbledon, Exeter City and Newport County in the EFL to names such as FC United of Manchester and Scarborough Athletic in non-league, all of whom are operating the community benefit society framework that ensure sustainability for their clubs.”

The club shall shortly be accepting memberships whilst an official launch event shall take place on Tuesday 16th August, 2022, when the football team take on a Nottingham Forest XI at Walesby Lane.

(Story Source: Ollerton Town)

Click here for Ollerton Town's team page.

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