Darlington Borough Council agrees Mowden Rugby Club deal for land at football stadium site

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Northern Echo Arena The Northern Echo Arena

AMBITIOUS plans to bring the former home of Darlington Football Club back to life have tonight (Tuesday, November 6) been given the backing of the Borough Council.

The 25,000-seater stadium has lain dormant since the Quakers quit earlier this year, but Mowden Park Rugby Club plans to take over.

The deal hinged on the rugby club reaching a deal with the authority to buy a 17-acre plot of land adjoining The Northern Echo Arena which it would transform into training pitches.

That was agreed in principle and last night the council’s cabinet gave its consent at a behind closed doors meeting.

Approached by The Northern Echo afterwards, council leader, Bill Dixon said: “I can confirm it’s true. We had hoped we would get to this position with the club because I think they represent by far and away the best future that the stadium has got.

“The terms are agreeable to both sides and are very much in line with deals that we have previously done.

“Hopefully, this now frees the way up for the club to buy the stadium from the current owners.”

Asked when things could happen, Coun Dixon said: “We are prepared to move as soon as the legal deals are signed off. In theory, we would be looking to do it within the next month or two.

“We have agreed to sell, so from our point of view the sooner, the better. From our point of view there is nothing to stop it.”

Asked if the rugby club could make a success of the venture, he said: “All we can say as a council is that we hope they do. In reality, they have got their business model which, when explained to me, makes a great deal of sense and we want to support them in that.”

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:22pm Tue 6 Nov 12

oliviaden6 says...

This is good for the stadium. Now what about DTV airport lets have some good news about that situation
This is good for the stadium. Now what about DTV airport lets have some good news about that situation oliviaden6
  • Score: 6

10:00pm Tue 6 Nov 12

dave3mrr says...

Thanks for all your help in the past DBC. A DFC season ticket holder.
Thanks for all your help in the past DBC. A DFC season ticket holder. dave3mrr
  • Score: 4

1:40am Wed 7 Nov 12

darloatyourfeet says...

dave3mrr wrote:
Thanks for all your help in the past DBC. A DFC season ticket holder.
I'll second that...ha!
[quote][p][bold]dave3mrr[/bold] wrote: Thanks for all your help in the past DBC. A DFC season ticket holder.[/p][/quote]I'll second that...ha! darloatyourfeet
  • Score: 1

7:37am Wed 7 Nov 12

Liamsm says...

darloatyourfeet wrote:
dave3mrr wrote:
Thanks for all your help in the past DBC. A DFC season ticket holder.
I'll second that...ha!
Difference is DFC didn't have land worth over 6million with planning to build 67 executive homes on a high council tax band. Do the maths 67 x 1,386 = £92,862 per month in council tax alone. No brainer! What did the football club have other than debts? Don't worry though they are building a pitch for the football club so they will be back in the town sooner than you think.
[quote][p][bold]darloatyourfeet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dave3mrr[/bold] wrote: Thanks for all your help in the past DBC. A DFC season ticket holder.[/p][/quote]I'll second that...ha![/p][/quote]Difference is DFC didn't have land worth over 6million with planning to build 67 executive homes on a high council tax band. Do the maths 67 x 1,386 = £92,862 per month in council tax alone. No brainer! What did the football club have other than debts? Don't worry though they are building a pitch for the football club so they will be back in the town sooner than you think. Liamsm
  • Score: 3

8:14am Wed 7 Nov 12

Bob312 says...

Fantastic news. Would hope to see the Falcons playing games there in the future, maybe even so international rugby matches. It should end up being Better than most premiership rugby.
Fantastic news. Would hope to see the Falcons playing games there in the future, maybe even so international rugby matches. It should end up being Better than most premiership rugby. Bob312
  • Score: 4

9:08am Wed 7 Nov 12

stewboss says...

Liamsm wrote:
darloatyourfeet wrote:
dave3mrr wrote:
Thanks for all your help in the past DBC. A DFC season ticket holder.
I'll second that...ha!
Difference is DFC didn't have land worth over 6million with planning to build 67 executive homes on a high council tax band. Do the maths 67 x 1,386 = £92,862 per month in council tax alone. No brainer! What did the football club have other than debts? Don't worry though they are building a pitch for the football club so they will be back in the town sooner than you think.
You obviously have zero knowledge of local government funding and taxation to come out with that statement.

It's a common misunderstanding that increased housing base or indeed, housing valuations have an effect on local government taxation revenue but then I read so much guff in general relating to local government.
[quote][p][bold]Liamsm[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]darloatyourfeet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dave3mrr[/bold] wrote: Thanks for all your help in the past DBC. A DFC season ticket holder.[/p][/quote]I'll second that...ha![/p][/quote]Difference is DFC didn't have land worth over 6million with planning to build 67 executive homes on a high council tax band. Do the maths 67 x 1,386 = £92,862 per month in council tax alone. No brainer! What did the football club have other than debts? Don't worry though they are building a pitch for the football club so they will be back in the town sooner than you think.[/p][/quote]You obviously have zero knowledge of local government funding and taxation to come out with that statement. It's a common misunderstanding that increased housing base or indeed, housing valuations have an effect on local government taxation revenue but then I read so much guff in general relating to local government. stewboss
  • Score: -2

9:47am Wed 7 Nov 12

SFG says...

Actually Councils do get a proportion of any increase in rateable income in the town these days and also benefit financially from housing developments (New Homes Bonus)
However it is unlikely that these were key factors in the Councils decision on the Arena.
Mowden Park may be cash rich but that will soon run down if they spend £300k a year subsidising an empty stadium.
More yetto come on this story I think.
Actually Councils do get a proportion of any increase in rateable income in the town these days and also benefit financially from housing developments (New Homes Bonus) However it is unlikely that these were key factors in the Councils decision on the Arena. Mowden Park may be cash rich but that will soon run down if they spend £300k a year subsidising an empty stadium. More yetto come on this story I think. SFG
  • Score: 4

10:27am Wed 7 Nov 12

Mowmember says...

Asked if the rugby club could make a success of the venture, he said: “All we can say as a council is that we hope they do. In reality, they have got their business model which, when explained to me, makes a great deal of sense and we want to support them in that.”
Some one please throw this out before its too late.
Business model, is someone having a laugh!!!!
Looks like the end of another club at this white elephant.
Asked if the rugby club could make a success of the venture, he said: “All we can say as a council is that we hope they do. In reality, they have got their business model which, when explained to me, makes a great deal of sense and we want to support them in that.” Some one please throw this out before its too late. Business model, is someone having a laugh!!!! Looks like the end of another club at this white elephant. Mowmember
  • Score: -1

1:25pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Whoknowswhat says...

Everybody is guessing and looking at this deal as if the buyers were a football club and want to run it like a football club when quite clearly there is a viable plan somewhere.
The council is being accused of not helping the previous occupants, what permissions couldn't the previous occupants have that the rugby club can now have?
There is a lot of smoke and mirrors associated with the previous occupiers regarding what they could and couldn't do with the stadium perpetrated by the previous occupiers I think!!!
Let the rugby club get on with it I for one hope they make a success of it, remember they are amongst and play with the top 70 clubs in the country, It might be enough to entice me to go and watch the odd home game at the arena.
Everybody is guessing and looking at this deal as if the buyers were a football club and want to run it like a football club when quite clearly there is a viable plan somewhere. The council is being accused of not helping the previous occupants, what permissions couldn't the previous occupants have that the rugby club can now have? There is a lot of smoke and mirrors associated with the previous occupiers regarding what they could and couldn't do with the stadium perpetrated by the previous occupiers I think!!! Let the rugby club get on with it I for one hope they make a success of it, remember they are amongst and play with the top 70 clubs in the country, It might be enough to entice me to go and watch the odd home game at the arena. Whoknowswhat
  • Score: 3

3:17pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Bob312 says...

The costs associated with running a rugby club are a lot less in terms of wages, policing and security. When was the last time you saw police or security at a DMP game.

Even when I've been to Twickenham for play-off finals and internationals the amount of police around the ground you can count on one hand. Rugby is a much more family orientated game.
The costs associated with running a rugby club are a lot less in terms of wages, policing and security. When was the last time you saw police or security at a DMP game. Even when I've been to Twickenham for play-off finals and internationals the amount of police around the ground you can count on one hand. Rugby is a much more family orientated game. Bob312
  • Score: 3

8:08pm Wed 7 Nov 12

gramps427 says...

This is great news for both the town and the club; I hope it goes well for them and that they get the training pitches on the go fairly quickly.
This is great news for both the town and the club; I hope it goes well for them and that they get the training pitches on the go fairly quickly. gramps427
  • Score: 2

12:54pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Lawman3 says...

I'm no fan of DBC, but I don't think they are responsible for the demise of Darlington FC. To blame them simply shifts focus away from the real culpits, Messrs Reynolds, Houghton and Singh.
I'm no fan of DBC, but I don't think they are responsible for the demise of Darlington FC. To blame them simply shifts focus away from the real culpits, Messrs Reynolds, Houghton and Singh. Lawman3
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree