Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC CIC football club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, has today completed a deal with the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council to take a 35-year Lease to the Council property, the Horsfall Stadium in South Bradford. The Club has been based at Horsfall Stadium for some years, but now this provides a permanent home for the Club. It enables the Club to maintain, repair and develop the facilities to create an increasingly improving experience for users. It is hoped that West Bowling ARLFC will soon also relocate to the Stadium, while retaining their current access to Emsley Recreation Ground. The Stadium will continue to be the base for Bradford Airedale Athletics Club and there are plans to invest in the athletics facilities too.
The Horsfall Community Stadium Development Project has long been a dream of Director, Gareth Roberts, who continues to invest heavily in the Club. The completion of the Lease enables work to start on the long-awaited new 3G artificial grass pitch and new site boundary security fencing around the Stadium area. The new security fence and gating system will help protect the new infrastructure. The fencing is being in part grant-aided by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF). As sister organisation of the Football Foundation, the FSIF are the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
Once work gets under way, this opens the door to potential further developments in months to come. These depend on all partners being happy with the additional plans and funding arrangements.
The immediate developments will enable greater community use of the Stadium from the public and from organisations in many sports. It will also allow more opportunity for the football club to accommodate and develop its academy, junior and ladies’ teams at the stadium itself. All our club affiliated teams have had to play away from Horsfall Stadium over the years due to insufficient facilities. This much-needed investment will enable the football club to develop the whole playing pyramid from grass-roots to senior football at the club and provide a better experience for users and public.
Gareth Roberts, the Club’s owner and long-time benefactor, said:
“We would like to thank the FSIF and the Premier League for their assistance in helping us create an improved venue. It is part of our broader plan to create a sporting hub at Horsfall Stadium that will be of benefit for years to come with a focus on improving both the Club and grassroots sport in the community, within the Bradford area. We hope to have further developments in due course.”