Council may give Victoria Park to Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United could be presented with the ownership of their Victoria Park ground by the town's council, subject to full council approval.

Pools, who attempted to purchase the stadium from the council on two separate occasions, are viewed as an important contributor to the area.

"They generate £5m a year to the local economy," mayor Stuart Drummond told BBC Look North.

"They've invested over £13m here and employ over 300 people."

Provided the deal is approved, transfer of ownership of the ground outright would open up opportunities for club owners IOR Limited to develop the existing site.

The decision will come as a bonus to chairman Ken Hodcroft, who made his thoughts clear on the club's situation when interviewed by Late Kick Off in January.

"We took on a lease when we took over the club. The lease is for 65 years with about 50 years left and we pay an annual rent," Hodcroft said.

"The main thing for the council is to recognise that this is not their crown jewels, it's an economic benefit to the town of Hartlepool and to the region.

"If we cannot look after our own business in 13 or 14 years then there may be a time when the owners say they're not prepared to invest any more.

"I personally don't want this to happen, but we have to be realistic in these things, investing £13m in a development that's not yours, I don't think many businesses would do that."

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