Posts Tagged ‘Colin Sexstone’

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City “Could Get Tax Cash” For New Stadium

November 3, 2009

Bristol City could get taxpayers’ money to fund its new stadium at Ashton Vale.

The South West Regional Development Agency has confirmed it is in talks with the club about offering funding for the club’s new ground.

The Agency is responsible for distributing government money to projects it believes will benefit the region’s economy.

But Bristol City say any money that might come from the taxpayer would need to be in addition to selling Ashton Gate to Sainsbury’s, not instead of it.

Ian Knight, area director for the South West RDA, exclusively told Jones The News: “”We have met with Bristol City Football Club to discuss how they might be able to help take forward the proposed stadium expansion but those discussions are at a very early stage.”

He added: “It is too early to say if RDA funding would be available for this project.”

But Bristol City’s Chief Executive Colin Sexstone dismissed the suggestion that public funding could mean the club did not have to sell Ashton Gate off as a supermarket.

He said: “It would make no difference to the application for Ashton Gate. We have been in discussions with the RDA, as you would expect with a stadium of this size.

“This sort of discussion is normal in a project like this. There is a fair bit of land remediation that needs to be done. We would be looking to the RDA to help us with that.

“That’s especially true because it will create jobs and bring back an area of the city that, at the moment, can’t be used for employment.

“We’re also looking for them to help us with the infrastructure, and how people get to the site. That might be grants or might be loans. We are in discussion with them, but this issue is not central. We still need to raise the maximum we can from Ashton Gate.”

Sexstone is also adamant that any money from the RDA could not replace the money the club would get from a food store.

He said: “It certainly could not. If someone comes in and gives us the same money as we would get from a food store, they could do what they like with this site.

“They could put housing or sports centres or whatever they like on the site if they match what we would get from a food store. But there is not that sort of public money available at the moment.”

The RDA has also revealed it is committed to providing £20,000 to boost Bristol’s World Cup bid, and would provide the same sum to Plymouth, which is competing with Bristol.

The RDA’s South West Director Ian Knight said: “There are significant economic benefits of being a host city for the 2018 World Cup so we are keen to find out more about the strengths of Bristol’s bid and how it might be presented.

“The city will need to address issues such as transport infrastructure, the local environment, sustainability issues and stadium facilities.

Audio: City Chief Executive Colin Sexstone speaks to Jones The News

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Tesco Plan “Essential” For New City Stadium

August 18, 2009

Bristol City FC Chief Executive Colin Sexstone claims getting planning permission to sell Ashton Gate to Tesco is “essential” to the club building its new stadium at Ashton Vale.

He describes alternative plans for Ashton Gate as “laudable” but says no realistic alternatives have been put forward.

His comments come as the club formally submits its planning application to Bristol City Council, which it did on Monday.

Citys stadium plans

City's stadium plans

He told Jones The News: “Stadiums are expensive beasts, and it appears there is no public money available for this – as there might be on the continent. So it must be funded by Bristol City.

“The only asset we have is Ashton Gate, and we must raise as much money as we can. The difference between using this for food retail and a mixed use site could be as much as fifteen million pounds.

“If someone else can suggest how we could raise that money, we’re all ears. But no-one has suggested anything else as yet.”

The plans have only been submitted as outlines at the moment, but it’s thought the proposed store could be as big as 8,400 sq metres, about a third bigger than the nearby ASDA store in Bedminster. Tesco also estimates the supermarket would see a car arriving approximately every five seconds.

Colin Sexstone does not believe any alternative uses suggested for the site, such as housing or sports facilities, are feasible.

He added: “Unless someone can raise the money, they’re not feasible. If Bristol City Council want to raise £20m or so they can do what they like with it.

“But none of the suggestions that have been made – laudable though they are – can help us build the new stadium. The new stadium will be a fantastic community facility.

“The alternative is that, if we don’t raise that money, we will stay where we are.”

Campaign group BERATE, who oppose the Tesco plans, say on their web site: “This community has hosted and supported the club for 100 years and we believe that the club should leave an alternative legacy, more in keeping with the original use for this site.

“We propose that the site could provide new sports and play facilities for the community along with new housing. These will increase participation in sport and play, and provide much needed housing in this area.”

Audio:  Martin Jones interviews Colin Sexstone