An avid soccer fan believes they have found the ideal solution to keep Newark FC in town – building a stadium on the former site of the Lilley and Stone School.
Steve Crane has scoured the area for potential locations for the best football club in town, which had to leave Lowfields after being priced by the landowner.
Fans are now facing a 50-mile round-trip to Basford, where the Highwaymen will share the land for the next season.
Steven Crane from the former Lilley and Stone School, which he thinks could be the perfect location for a new football stadium. (47310191)
But Steve says the Lilley and Stone location is the perfect place for the future, and he believes it can be reached when people are ready to meet him halfway.
The grounds on London Road, which has extensive land at the back for sports, has been empty since Newark Academy moved to Balderton.
The trustees have announced that they will consider Steve’s proposal.
Steven Crane from the former Lilley and Stone School, which he thinks could be the perfect location for a new football stadium. (47310183)
Steve, who led a campaign to create a community trust to save Lowfields, said, “I’ve been traveling around looking for an area that could be turned into a stadium to replace Lowfields.
“There are at least five places, but in my honest opinion it’s Lilley and Stone.
“It’s in the city center and within walking distance for most fans, but also with bus and train connections that some of the away teams could use.
“If we got the ground there, it could increase Newark FC’s fan base and breathe new life into the city on the weekends.
“There is certainly not a lot of green space in the center of the city that could support a football stadium, but Lilley and Stone are one of them.
“The country exists and there is already a 3G soccer field that needs to be repaired urgently. We still have our floodlights and supporters in the camp so there is a lot less to do. “
Steve said the land and buildings could be divided up for sporting use while protecting the frontline’s status. Maybe a soccer academy could use the classrooms.
“Grants would be made available from sports and football associations as well as from cultural heritage persons to protect the buildings. There is enough space there for the football club and the tennis club (which plays there) to expand as well, ”he said. “In my opinion, this is achievable when people come on board.”
After its most successful season to date, Newark FC, formerly Flowserve, received a hammer blow when a Switzerland-based real estate developer looking to build homes on much of Flowserve’s premises announced its intention not to renew the club’s lease.
More than 600 people have signed the petition to save Lowfields.
Malcolm Ellison, accountant for the Lilley and Stone Trust, confirmed that Steve had been in touch with his proposal and that he would go before the trustees.
He said the future of the website has yet to be determined.