Discussions have commenced between Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Port Vale Football Club over creating a community sports campus in the city.
The dialogue will explore the potential for the council and the club to work more closely together to develop a vision and plans for the Vale Park Campus, that will enhance facilities in the town and improve the way they are used including club facilities, outdoor sports pitches, Sproson Park, and Dimensions Leisure Centre – all of which adjoin one another in Burslem.
The aim is to develop an exciting set of proposals to benefit the community and residents across the city as well as pave the way for the club to develop their own training pitches and facilities, use its expertise to maintain and manage sports pitches at Dimensions and further develop training pitches that are nearby in Bradeley for community use. Public engagement and consultation will take place as the plans emerge.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Cllr Abi Brown said:
“Our buildings, our property and facilities are located in very close proximity to the club and we are delighted to be working with Port Vale on this exciting community sports campus concept, which will have wholesale benefits for residents of Burslem and wider communities in the North of the City.
“We know sport and exercise are of real benefit to everyone’s health and well-being, and making facilities more accessible and improving the quality of them is so important. We know the council can’t do this alone, so we’re taking the opportunity to explore new ways of delivering services to our communities in addition to there being benefits for the club too – it seems a logical thing to do.
“The aim is to introduce a number of community programmes to enhance the current offer available and ensure access for everyone.”
Carol Shanahan, Chair at Port Vale Football Club said:
“From the outset of purchasing Port Vale in 2019, one of our main objectives was to help the town of Burslem and local people across the city.
“We have a long-held vision for the Vale Park Campus and we are pleased to be working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council on a project that has the potential to benefit so many local people.
“By creating a thriving, energetic hub of activity for the community alongside first-class facilities for our senior and junior teams, we believe we can develop even more opportunities and programmes which will benefit the local area.”