Monday 04th April 2005

Fleet take over Beauwater club

GRAVESEND & Northfleet Football Club and Gravesham Borough Council have been working on the Beauwater's project in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for nearly a year with the aim being to ensure the retention of Beauwaters Sports & Social Club as a leisure and community facility in the Borough, writes Stephen McCartney.

The conclusion of the transaction on 31 March has culminated in the council purchasing the freehold of the site and the Fleet taking out a long-term lease, through a newly-formed subsidiary company called Fleet Leisure Limited.

Fleet Leisure has also taken over the business of Beauwaters Sports & Social Club. Under the terms of the lease Fleet Leisure must provide leisure and community facilities and meet performance targets set by the council.

Fleet Chairman, Brian Kilcullen, told the club's website: "This is a major investment and there are responsibilities that come with running the site but it enables us to have a home for our youth and Football in the Community section as well as a training ground for the first team for when we change to full-time football".

The site is not just used by football teams but has a wide range of other users. Kilcullen commented: "We are opening up membership to all and the intention over time is to improve the facility.

"If the council and football club initiative had not happened the site may have ended up being closed down as a leisure and community facility and lost to the Borough forever. This transaction has also ensured that over 30 people keep their jobs as Fleet Leisure is retaining all those staff employed at the time of the handover".

By opening up membership to all, among others Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club hope to attract local residents, corporate membership and their own fans to join the social club.

The Fleet aim to improve the standard of the pitches and make it accessible to local schools for coaching as well as continue to stage local cup finals and representative games.