Given the latest publicity regarding the new stadium we thought it would be an opportune time to give you our prospective on the current status. In terms of  involvement obviously we have Jon and Dave on the club board and Dave is also part of the stadium working party that meets with the council. We feel therefore that we are in a good position to give an honest assessment of the project. This was discussed at our AGM on Wednesday and set out below is a summary of the key points made. Although it might not seem the case there has been a lot of work going on in the background both by the club and the council. The key activity from the council has been the commissioning of two studies by independent consultants SLR, the first to assess the social and economic benefit of a community stadium complex and the second to assess to best location for the scheme. The background to these is that given that the council were being asked by the club to support the project they had to do a robust study to make sure that the social and economic benefits arising from the scheme were a benefit for the community and therefore worth supporting. The outcome of this study is an overwhelming YES and in our view is a major milestone for the project which has probably been underplayed. This basically puts to bed the discussion about whether the project has any merit and gives the council the confidence to look seriously at feasibility. This then leads on to the next stage which is to assess the best location which is study no 2. Obviously the club had done their own assessment which led to Peakes Parkway being the preferred option but quite rightly the council felt they had to do their own comprehensive study with a brief to include any potential new sites. This identified 16 potential sites of which the consultants feel 6 merit a more detailed review. This has been perceived by many as going back to square one, particularly given the way it has been covered, but we see it as much more positive than that as we believe that the work is already underway and the site selection process will be quicker than people realise. It is actually really positive that the whole focus is now on where the complex should be and given what we know we still believe Peakes Parkway is the  best location for the project to be delivered in a realistic time frame and to provide the long term sustainability needed. The Dockside and Freeman St locations are obviously new sites introduced by the council with regeneration in mind which potentially could attract grant monies and this would change the dynamics of the scheme considerably. Without knowing more, however, we really worry about the complexity and viability of these sites but remain open minded. In summary we are very positive about the prospect of the community stadium project coming to fruition and can say from first hand knowledge that, despite how it looks, the council are in fact very supportive but are just going through a very robust process which takes longer than we would all like. The two studies are very comprehensive and we really wish they had been commissioned ten years ago because we have little doubt that if they had have been the borough would already be enjoying the benefits of a community stadium complex. You can show your support for the Peakes Parkway project on the telegraph voting page here :

If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail us at  and we will do our very best to answer within the bounds of confidentiality. Also the club will be giving an update on the stadium together with an update on the search for funding at the AGM next Thursday and so if you are a shareholder you can either go along and ask questions or if you cannot make it send to  in advance. Hope this update helps clarify UTM Mariners Trust Board