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+ www.altyfans.co.uk » General Category » Altrincham FC First Team
 Worrying stadium news for Gateshead

Author Topic: Worrying stadium news for Gateshead  (Read 3981 times)

Wilmslow Alty

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Worrying stadium news for Gateshead
« on: November 21, 2023, 04:21:43 PM »

Worrying news from local reporter, Daniel Holland...

Gateshead International Stadium could be taken over by a private operator, amid major cost-cutting measures that have already resulted in two leisure centres being shut down.
Civic centre bosses have agreed to include the famous venue, which has hosted international athletics events and pop concerts, in a tendering process to find an outside contractor who will run Gateshead Council’s remaining sports centres and swimming pools.
The local authority has been trying to slash the amount of money it spends on leisure services, as it faces up to a predicted £50m budget shortfall over the next five years, and controversially closed down Gateshead Leisure Centre and Birtley Swimming Centre this summer.
It has been the plan to procure an external operator for the borough’s remaining leisure sites in Blaydon, Heworth, and Dunston to further reduce the financial burden.
But the council’s Labour cabinet agreed on Tuesday morning to add the stadium to that offer as well, in hope of making a deal “more attractive to the market”.
The stadium had been excluded from the review that ultimately led to the two centre closures as it was viewed as a unique site – with its history of staging major events and the fact that it is home to the likes of Gateshead FC and Gateshead Harriers, as well as Gateshead College’s sports students.
But the council has warned that the venue is in need of £4m of repairs over the next decade and, with operating costs added to that, will cost the council at least £11m to keep open in that time. 
A report to the cabinet added that there is “no current funding source that the council may access to meet this potential liability” and that the authority “would experience financial difficulties in retaining any offer” at the stadium.
Councillors were told on Tuesday morning that commercially confidential talks are continuing with Gateshead College about the future of the stadium and that a further exercise to assess market demand to take on the running of the stadium is also being carried out.
The cabinet agreed to include Gateshead Stadium in the procurement process to find a new leisure operator – however it will be kept as a separate lot to the other three leisure centres, meaning the council will not be obliged to award a contract that covers all four sites.
The results of an online survey the council conducted about the leisure centre’s future showed that 70% of 391 respondents disagreed with a proposal to “repurpose” it “so that its primary use is for the purposes of education and sport”.
The stadium was described by clubs who use it as a “valued regional venue” and a “unique asset in the region”.
When the leisure centre closure proposals were first unveiled last year, the GMB Union called for the stadium to be thrown into the mix for closure and described it as a “white elephant” that was “draining essential resources from other services in the community”.
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Amsterdam Alty

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Re: Worrying stadium news for Gateshead
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2023, 04:27:21 PM »

Oh thank God. They might end up in a stadium where you aren't 32m from the pitch and at 1000ft elevation.

In all seriousness, The cost to run the place over the next 10 years is the cost of a nice 7.5k stadium. They could knock it down and in the footprint fit a football stadium and a housing estate.

I'd be begging for it if I was a Gateshead fan.
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Wilmslow Alty

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Re: Worrying stadium news for Gateshead
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2023, 04:43:19 PM »

Every cloud  :) - although I suspect the outcome could be that the stadium is off-loaded to a private operator and rents are renegotiated up, with no money made available for alternative facilities  ::)
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cheshire cat

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Re: Worrying stadium news for Gateshead
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2023, 11:11:22 PM »

I would have thought that kind of money would be small change for Brendan Foster with all his Great **** Run franchises and I'm sure he'll be dead keen to see it continue as an athletics venue
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 Worrying stadium news for Gateshead