Darlington Mowden Park buys town's 27,500 seater stadium

Darlington and Stockton Times: CHANGE OF HANDS: The Darlington Arena CHANGE OF HANDS: The Darlington Arena

DARLINGTON Mowden Park have pulled off their audacious purchase of the town’s former football stadium and expect to play some rugby there before the end of this season.

“Everything has now been signed and we hope to get the stadium back in use by early February,” said chairman John Widdall.

“The pitch has been maintained, so we just need to put up some new posts. The players can’t wait to get on to it.”

As the club has also bought 17 acres of adjacent land from the council they intend to develop a multi-sports facility, which would include a racket sports centre.

They have already held talks with Middlesbrough FC, who are interested in staging Under 21 matches at the ground, and a local gymnastics club have also expressed an interest.

“We have an option on buying a further 25 acres, but we will wait to see how many of the other sports become a reality,” said the club’s facilities development manager Dave Liddle.

“We are talking to the Rugby Football Union about staging England Saxons matches and we will also ask them about the possibility of having women’s internationals.”

Mowden’s ambitious plans have come swiftly to fruition since they were revealed in early September after more than a decade of frustration in attempting to move to new premises at West Park, close to the junction of the A68 and the A1.

They had expected work to start there last February, but a move which had been stymied at every turn continued to prove elusive.

Mowden have played for 40 years at Yiewsley Drive, where Yuills, who had built the houses, agreed to buy the rugby club’s land and gained planning permission for 67 houses seven years ago.

They withdrew their offer following the credit crunch, and the fact that they had a covenant on the land, saying only they could build on it, created further difficulties.

“We had to pay them a small sum to get round it,” said Widdall. “But now everything has been signed with Bellway Homes.”

Mowden are believed to be receiving about £6m from Bellway and have paid upwards of £2m for the former football stadium.

It is hoped work will begin in March on levelling the 17 acres of former agricultural land they have bought, where four pitches, plus a training pitch, will be created.

They will need all of those to cater for their 23 teams, including minis and juniors, plus the successful Mowden Sharks women’s team.

They insist they are aware of the maintenance costs at the 25,000-seat stadium, but Liddle says they are looking at ways of cutting the energy and water bill.

“We want to make it as green as possible,” he said. “We are looking at things like solar panels and bore hole for the water, plus any other technologies we can use.”

Comments (20)

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6:06pm Wed 5 Dec 12

gramps427 says...

Great news and good luck to Mowden; need to see details of changes to the surrounding land though and how it will affect wildlife and the rights of way. Hopefully they can cater for both.
Great news and good luck to Mowden; need to see details of changes to the surrounding land though and how it will affect wildlife and the rights of way. Hopefully they can cater for both. gramps427
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Wed 5 Dec 12

MST1975 says...

gramps427 wrote:
Great news and good luck to Mowden; need to see details of changes to the surrounding land though and how it will affect wildlife and the rights of way. Hopefully they can cater for both.
Wildlife can play rugby.....who knew. Although Mowden has rugby at all levels, even women's rugby.

Good luck to them
[quote][p][bold]gramps427[/bold] wrote: Great news and good luck to Mowden; need to see details of changes to the surrounding land though and how it will affect wildlife and the rights of way. Hopefully they can cater for both.[/p][/quote]Wildlife can play rugby.....who knew. Although Mowden has rugby at all levels, even women's rugby. Good luck to them MST1975
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Phil Thornberry says...

Bargain of the century there, the arena and all its land for less than the price DFC will need to fund a stadium made up of little more than a tiny collection of poracabins and bus shelters. Such a shame the towns thousands of football fans have had their birth right ripped from them, not once with the loss of Feethams, but twice with the loss of the arena and all without any compensation from the sale of land pledged to us by our forefathers at Feethams or from convents perceived to be transferred to the land at the arena.
I hope the hundreds of rugby fans enjoy the arenas facilities whilst thousands of us football fans travel out of town to stand in the rain.....Great,,, absolutely fantastic...
Bargain of the century there, the arena and all its land for less than the price DFC will need to fund a stadium made up of little more than a tiny collection of poracabins and bus shelters. Such a shame the towns thousands of football fans have had their birth right ripped from them, not once with the loss of Feethams, but twice with the loss of the arena and all without any compensation from the sale of land pledged to us by our forefathers at Feethams or from convents perceived to be transferred to the land at the arena. I hope the hundreds of rugby fans enjoy the arenas facilities whilst thousands of us football fans travel out of town to stand in the rain.....Great,,, absolutely fantastic... Phil Thornberry
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Quakerz says...

Phil the Arena killed us, man. The running costs are immense and the rugby club are going to find out the hard way.
Phil the Arena killed us, man. The running costs are immense and the rugby club are going to find out the hard way. Quakerz
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Wed 5 Dec 12

swissball says...

when did DFC ever have "thousands of fans?
when did DFC ever have "thousands of fans? swissball
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Wed 5 Dec 12

MST1975 says...

The running cost will be lowered by investing in "green" energy solar panels water sources etc. Great forward thinking from the rugby club. Also talking to other sporting clubs to help the venue be more profitable. Not just trying to develop the lad to line there owners own pockets with hotels etc.

Amazing that a professional business like a football club never thought of that.
They may still be there now had they done so.
The running cost will be lowered by investing in "green" energy solar panels water sources etc. Great forward thinking from the rugby club. Also talking to other sporting clubs to help the venue be more profitable. Not just trying to develop the lad to line there owners own pockets with hotels etc. Amazing that a professional business like a football club never thought of that. They may still be there now had they done so. MST1975
  • Score: 0

6:32am Thu 6 Dec 12

BMD says...

Just hope Darlington Council can keep out of meddling in the buisness affairs!

Good Luck
Just hope Darlington Council can keep out of meddling in the buisness affairs! Good Luck BMD
  • Score: 0

7:25am Thu 6 Dec 12

maw.si says...

Quakerz wrote:
Phil the Arena killed us, man. The running costs are immense and the rugby club are going to find out the hard way.
Do the sums,A major gas and elec company will install solar panels on the roof of the arena free of charge just like whats been done at carmel school so no more fue billsl.Then they sell what energy they dont use back to the utility company,
Will have there own water supply so no cost there.
The problem DFC had they were Tenants are were paying large amount of rent and fuel costs which the rugby club wont be.
[quote][p][bold]Quakerz[/bold] wrote: Phil the Arena killed us, man. The running costs are immense and the rugby club are going to find out the hard way.[/p][/quote]Do the sums,A major gas and elec company will install solar panels on the roof of the arena free of charge just like whats been done at carmel school so no more fue billsl.Then they sell what energy they dont use back to the utility company, Will have there own water supply so no cost there. The problem DFC had they were Tenants are were paying large amount of rent and fuel costs which the rugby club wont be. maw.si
  • Score: 0

9:11am Thu 6 Dec 12

Darlington Grim Reaper says...

I would like to know how much the council is skimming off the rugby club parking charges as they did off the football club.

and I would like to know why this secrective income is not listed in the propaganda magazines they produce for the electorate when they issue their council tax incomes and other revenue generation events etc. Like is it known by the public that your council that closed the only public loo provision in the town gets income from charging Orange (EE) for the car parking provision on the site. how much more income is kept quiet so the council can spend on its own little favourites.
I would like to know how much the council is skimming off the rugby club parking charges as they did off the football club. and I would like to know why this secrective income is not listed in the propaganda magazines they produce for the electorate when they issue their council tax incomes and other revenue generation events etc. Like is it known by the public that your council that closed the only public loo provision in the town gets income from charging Orange (EE) for the car parking provision on the site. how much more income is kept quiet so the council can spend on its own little favourites. Darlington Grim Reaper
  • Score: 0

11:44am Thu 6 Dec 12

Count Jim Moriarty says...

Darlington Grim Reaper wrote:
I would like to know how much the council is skimming off the rugby club parking charges as they did off the football club.

and I would like to know why this secrective income is not listed in the propaganda magazines they produce for the electorate when they issue their council tax incomes and other revenue generation events etc. Like is it known by the public that your council that closed the only public loo provision in the town gets income from charging Orange (EE) for the car parking provision on the site. how much more income is kept quiet so the council can spend on its own little favourites.
Can't beat a good conspiracy theory...
[quote][p][bold]Darlington Grim Reaper[/bold] wrote: I would like to know how much the council is skimming off the rugby club parking charges as they did off the football club. and I would like to know why this secrective income is not listed in the propaganda magazines they produce for the electorate when they issue their council tax incomes and other revenue generation events etc. Like is it known by the public that your council that closed the only public loo provision in the town gets income from charging Orange (EE) for the car parking provision on the site. how much more income is kept quiet so the council can spend on its own little favourites.[/p][/quote]Can't beat a good conspiracy theory... Count Jim Moriarty
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Thu 6 Dec 12

Quaker Boy says...

Let's not be all doom and gloom about this. They are bringing the stadium back into use which would otherwise become a blot on the landscape for years to come. Were there people lining up to purchase it? I don't think so. They are also creating a multi-sports facility which can only be good for the community.

Maybe Mowden could build a small stadium somewhere on the land they purchased or future land purchases for Darlington 1883 to rent. Just a thought.
Let's not be all doom and gloom about this. They are bringing the stadium back into use which would otherwise become a blot on the landscape for years to come. Were there people lining up to purchase it? I don't think so. They are also creating a multi-sports facility which can only be good for the community. Maybe Mowden could build a small stadium somewhere on the land they purchased or future land purchases for Darlington 1883 to rent. Just a thought. Quaker Boy
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Thu 6 Dec 12

Woodenhead says...

Quaker Boy wrote:
Let's not be all doom and gloom about this. They are bringing the stadium back into use which would otherwise become a blot on the landscape for years to come. Were there people lining up to purchase it? I don't think so. They are also creating a multi-sports facility which can only be good for the community.

Maybe Mowden could build a small stadium somewhere on the land they purchased or future land purchases for Darlington 1883 to rent. Just a thought.
HEAR HEAR!
[quote][p][bold]Quaker Boy[/bold] wrote: Let's not be all doom and gloom about this. They are bringing the stadium back into use which would otherwise become a blot on the landscape for years to come. Were there people lining up to purchase it? I don't think so. They are also creating a multi-sports facility which can only be good for the community. Maybe Mowden could build a small stadium somewhere on the land they purchased or future land purchases for Darlington 1883 to rent. Just a thought.[/p][/quote]HEAR HEAR! Woodenhead
  • Score: 0

2:31pm Thu 6 Dec 12

ace38 says...

I wish Darlington (1883) were still at The Arena.
I wish Darlington (1883) were still at The Arena. ace38
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Thu 6 Dec 12

hullgodfreyshire says...

As an outsider I find it puzzling as to why these buyers didnt get together with the football club and make this the proper sports centre for the whole of the darlington area, for football and rugby,with a smaller share each this would give the perfect solution
As an outsider I find it puzzling as to why these buyers didnt get together with the football club and make this the proper sports centre for the whole of the darlington area, for football and rugby,with a smaller share each this would give the perfect solution hullgodfreyshire
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Thu 6 Dec 12

grumpyoldpops says...

Would like to Congratulate Mowden on the purchase of the Arena and wish them every success in the future
Would like to Congratulate Mowden on the purchase of the Arena and wish them every success in the future grumpyoldpops
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Thu 6 Dec 12

johnny_p says...

Fantastic! Hope the club can manage it properly this time, and get maximum use out of it.

Think I'll be going to watch the rugby now and I hope other darlington residents do the same. Good luck.
Fantastic! Hope the club can manage it properly this time, and get maximum use out of it. Think I'll be going to watch the rugby now and I hope other darlington residents do the same. Good luck. johnny_p
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Thu 6 Dec 12

loopeyloo75 says...

I am really glad the stadium is going to be used for some kind of sport, its a shame its not football. Bill Dixon is a big rugby fan.........wonder if that had anything to do with the council been so accomodating. wonder what plans the rugby club has to make money.Really hope its a success.
I am really glad the stadium is going to be used for some kind of sport, its a shame its not football. Bill Dixon is a big rugby fan.........wonder if that had anything to do with the council been so accomodating. wonder what plans the rugby club has to make money.Really hope its a success. loopeyloo75
  • Score: 0

11:38pm Thu 6 Dec 12

monteforte says...

Bargain buy,, Great news .....
Bargain buy,, Great news ..... monteforte
  • Score: 0

9:07pm Fri 7 Dec 12

MST1975 says...

Woodenhead wrote:
Quaker Boy wrote:
Let's not be all doom and gloom about this. They are bringing the stadium back into use which would otherwise become a blot on the landscape for years to come. Were there people lining up to purchase it? I don't think so. They are also creating a multi-sports facility which can only be good for the community.

Maybe Mowden could build a small stadium somewhere on the land they purchased or future land purchases for Darlington 1883 to rent. Just a thought.
HEAR HEAR!
Why would they want to do that, DFC 1838 can always play on South Park so long as the spaire lads haven't got a game
[quote][p][bold]Woodenhead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Quaker Boy[/bold] wrote: Let's not be all doom and gloom about this. They are bringing the stadium back into use which would otherwise become a blot on the landscape for years to come. Were there people lining up to purchase it? I don't think so. They are also creating a multi-sports facility which can only be good for the community. Maybe Mowden could build a small stadium somewhere on the land they purchased or future land purchases for Darlington 1883 to rent. Just a thought.[/p][/quote]HEAR HEAR![/p][/quote]Why would they want to do that, DFC 1838 can always play on South Park so long as the spaire lads haven't got a game MST1975
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Liamsm says...

yeye wrote:
maclaren wrote:
gramps427 wrote:
Great news and good luck to Mowden; need to see details of changes to the surrounding land though and how it will affect wildlife and the rights of way. Hopefully they can cater for both.
Ridiculous comment, "how will it affect wildlife and rights of way"you are the kind of pain in the arse that brings this country down, the arena needs investment and this news should be welcomed unconditionally not with stupid remarks like yours, wildlife is doing remarkably well and as for rights of way, walk another bloody way, stupid man
Why the aggression Maclaren? Gramps427 has a perfectly reasonable point. How does querying rights of way and caring about wildlife bring this country down exactly? In my opinion, you are the idiot (if anyone) my friend. Try and see the world through someone elses eyes for 5 minutes.
Come on Mclaren think of those poor frogs and tadpoles.....have a heart man. As for the right of ways have you not walked around that area? It is bliss....some great caravans and cracking a66 bypass.
[quote][p][bold]yeye[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]maclaren[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gramps427[/bold] wrote: Great news and good luck to Mowden; need to see details of changes to the surrounding land though and how it will affect wildlife and the rights of way. Hopefully they can cater for both.[/p][/quote]Ridiculous comment, "how will it affect wildlife and rights of way"you are the kind of pain in the arse that brings this country down, the arena needs investment and this news should be welcomed unconditionally not with stupid remarks like yours, wildlife is doing remarkably well and as for rights of way, walk another bloody way, stupid man[/p][/quote]Why the aggression Maclaren? Gramps427 has a perfectly reasonable point. How does querying rights of way and caring about wildlife bring this country down exactly? In my opinion, you are the idiot (if anyone) my friend. Try and see the world through someone elses eyes for 5 minutes.[/p][/quote]Come on Mclaren think of those poor frogs and tadpoles.....have a heart man. As for the right of ways have you not walked around that area? It is bliss....some great caravans and cracking a66 bypass. Liamsm
  • Score: 0

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