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  • Football club unveils plan to come home

    Henry James

    OFFICIALS at Skelmersdale United have announced that they are currently in discussions with JMO Sports Park and officers of West Lancs Borough Council with a view to the club relocating to the JMO site in the town.

    Bosses at the club are hoping to return ‘home’ by moving to the artificial 3G grass facility at Liverpool Road by January 2019 in a move which could cost £500,000.

    The club, which plays in the Northern Premier League, was forced to move from its Stormy Corner ground in October of last year. Since then they have been playing ‘home’ fixtures 10 miles away at Prescot Cables.

    Skelmersdale United chairman Paul Griffiths said: “Should we receive all the necessary relevant permissions and consents, work would commence to upgrade JMO Sports Park to enable it to accommodate the club.

    “Skelmersdale United and the board of directors wish to place on record our sincere thanks for all the hard and time-consuming work done so far by JMO and council officers in getting us this far.

    “On a personal note I wish to thank my fellow directors, sponsors and fans for their hard work and support during what has and is a very difficult time.

    “There is still much more to do, and the club is still in need of all manner of support, especially from the local business community to help the club survive and move forward, please give us your help and support and we will attempt to do you proud.”

    To meet the league requirements, the club would need to enclose the ground, have covered stands, provide toilets and on-site catering facilities. There would also need to be new changing rooms as the current ones don’t meet league requirements.

    Floodlights are already in place.

    The club would need to put a planning application in to the council to enable the development to move forward and the local authority would also have to grant the owner of the facility, John Mallinson, a licence to allow Skelmersdale United to play there.

    Mr Griffiths is confident the club can meet the criteria and has added they are going to apply for the money needed via private initiative funding, such as the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, which is operated via the Premier League.

    To keep going until the move, the club is still looking for funding and is appealing to the business community for help. Anyone who can help can email paulgriffiths39@sky.com or call 07513 123 164.

    A spokesman for the JMO sports park said: “We’re delighted at the future prospect of Skelmersdale United playing here at JMO Sports Park and at the same time it’s great to be able to help the club come back home to the town where it belongs.

    “Match days will fit in with our current bookings and so there should be no disruption to our current customers and other potential new customers. Developing the clubhouse will also provide us with the opportunity to expand on what we currently offer to the local community and there’s loads of potential for the club to get involved in community schemes too which we can host.  

    “The club has a fantastic history and playing locally again would give people the opportunity to come and support the team again and it can only be a positive thing for Skelmersdale United and the local community, as well as ourselves.”

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