Evostik side Harrogate Railway Athletic has been approached by a local healthcare group with a proposal to redevelop its Starbeck Ground.
The agreement will see the club benefit from new extended facilities at the ground including four five a side pitches, a running track, new club house and a junior pitch- all of which will provide the club with valuable income streams. In return for the redevelopment Vida Healthcare will use one of the club’s eight acres to build a specialist dementia care home.
Speaking of the scheme James Rycroft of Vida Healthcare said: “The important part of the proposal is that it will bring the ground back into daily use and create a long term future for the Club, as well as regenerating a major part of Starbeck. The care home will be dedicated to delivering specialist dementia care services with the aim of becoming a national centre of excellence in this sector.”
Harrogate Railway FC chairman Mick Gray is confident that the new ground will be of benefit to everyone and said:”It is not often that something comes along where it is win, win for everybody. We would have been finished as a Club without the proposal from Vida and are absolutely delighted. Like many other clubs, we have struggled financially for a number of years and it has been heart-breaking for us and the fans to see the ground fall into greater disrepair and to lose our youth teams due to lack of facilities.
“It is also becoming more difficult to compete in the Evo-Stik League, with the costs related to running a club at this level. We are all looking forward to a brighter, more secure future and hope these fantastic new facilities will be matched by our performance on the pitch!”