Nottingham

Nottingham Forest's City Ground gains community protection

City Ground by the River Trent Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nottingham Forest moved to their river side ground about 120 years ago

Nottingham Forest fans will get a say on their stadium's future should the ground ever be put up for sale.

The Nottingham Forest Supporters Trust (NFST) has successfully applied to register the ground as an Asset Of Community Value.

Elliott Stanley, the chair of NFST, said fans and the local community can now help safeguard the club.

The Reds moved to the ground, the site of a double European Cup win, in West Bridgford, in 1898.

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Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The crowd overflows onto the pitch for during a cup replay against Chelsea in 1934

The City Ground has been part of Nottingham life for about 120 years with many watching Brian Clough's team carry out their European Cup heroics in 1979 and 1980.

Mr Stanley said: "The City Ground is undoubtedly one of the most iconic grounds in the footballing world.

"The ground being formally registered an Asset of Community Value is something that we set out to secure, not only because it aligns with our vision of safeguarding the future of the club but, perhaps more crucially, it ensures that fans have a voice on that future."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brian Clough was in the City Ground dugout from 1975 until 1993

Registering the stadium as a ACV means supporters can bid for the ground should it ever be put up for sale.

The stadium belongs to the club, but the land is owned under freehold by Nottingham City Council.

The authority has said it would never sell the land without the support of fans.

Nicholas Randall QC, Nottingham Forest's chairman, said the club had supported the move and that it underlined its commitment "to place the club at the heart of the community".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The players observed a minute's silence for Brian Clough following his death in 2004

Nottingham Forest was facing a uncertain future before being sold to Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis, in May.

Blackburn's Ewood Park stadium, Manchester United's Old Trafford and Charlton Athletic's The Valley have all been listed as ACVs.

Assets of Community Value

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The City Ground as it looked in 1980
  • The Localism Act 2011 gave local communities the power to protect buildings and open spaces they value
  • It meant communities can ask their local council to list certain assets as being of value to the community
  • If an asset comes up for sale, it will give communities six months to put together a bid to buy it
  • This gives communities a better chance to save much loved shops, pubs or other local facilities

Source: Civic Voice

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