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  Latest News on the Greene King Stadium - De Montfort Park
Wednesday 21st January 2009
 
The King is dead, long live Greene King
Hinckley United Football Club have made a major signing which will take their off the field activities to another level after linking up with national brewers Greene King.

With over 200 years experience in the brewery and pub trade, and 800 pubs within the British Isles under its wing, Suffolk based Greene King Brewery has become the largest British owned brewery in the UK. Greene King products will be sold at Hinckley United's De Montfort Park and the Stadium will be renamed the Greene King Stadium.

The ten year sponsorship deal will see the stadium renamed with immediate effect and the Greene King brewery will be assisting with driving forward the promotion of the 29 acre Leicester Road site which includes three bars and function rooms and nine football pitches including an all-weather full size floodlit 3G surface.

The Greene King Stadium already holds a number of business conferences, exhibitions, christmas functions, family parties and wedding receptions with the facilities open to everyone, and this week has seen the launch of Manhattan's Bar and Diner.

General Manager Dave Riche said: "We are delighted to sign up with Greene King and this will help to drive us forward at all levels. Changing the stadium name was a commercial decision, which is financially more viable and beneficial to everyone. It is a difficult climate for everyone at the moment and we are keen to bring more and more people and events to the stadium and to do that we have to give people value for money and excellent service. We have a great team working hard and all striving for the same goal - success, and the addition of Greene King is another step in the right direction."
 
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Tuesday 30th December 2008
 
Marston's deal comes to a close
The de Montfort Park stadium will no longer be known as the Marston's Stadium, as the Stadium sponsorship deal with Marston's Brewery has ended early in a mutual agreement between Hinckley United and the brewery company. It was originally set for a 10 year period, but with Marston's spreading itself into a wider sports market including cricket, and other footballing teams, it was decided in the best interests of both parties to finish the deal early.

Hinckley United are in talks with another company regarding the Sponsorship of the de Montfort Park Stadium and hope to make an announcement in the new year.
 
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Friday 25th August 2006
 
Picture Diary Update - Work Continues on the Junior Changing Block
Building of the New Stadium
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Friday 11th August 2006
 
Picture Diary Update - Work Continues on the Junior Changing Block
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Monday 10th July 2006
 
Junior Changing Block Begins
Building of the New Stadium Hinckley United were awarded £154000, by the Football Foundation, towards the cost of the Junior's Changing Block, and work has already progressed on the facility. The foundations have been layed and the brickwork is about to commence (click pictures on the left and the right for bigger view). When finished there will be two changing rooms for the Junior and Youth teams and two changing rooms for Officials, all four rooms complete with disabled facilities. The site of the block is next to the groundsman's store behind the Building of the New Stadium west wall of the stadium and is the initial phase for completing the west end of the ground. Pauk Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation welcomed the funding and said: "Grass roots is the lifeblood of the game, which is why it is vital that projects such as this now have the benefit of football Foundation cash." Hinckley United Chairman Kevin Downes said: "We are pleased to get this award, it enables us to give the Juniors, the Youth sides, and the users of the All-Weather pitch their own dedicated changing facilities."
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Sunday 15th January 2006
All weather pitch opens
Hinckley United have unveiled the latest state of the art development at their Marston's Stadium after they officially opened their new artificial playing surface last week. The arena is situated adjacent to the Marston Stadium and provides a fantastic facility for the club and the community. The project, funded in conjunction with Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, cost £400,000 and uses the latest in artificial pitch technology.

Officials from the club travelled to a number of clubs, including Manchester United and Real Madrid, to look at different types of surfaces, and the one they have chosen is the first of it's kind in the UK, one that Real Madrid themselves have chosen for their new training facility which is under construction.

Hinckley Chairman Kevin Downes welcomed around 120 guests to the opening ceremony, including the Mayor of Hinckley & Bosworth, Councillor John Bown, who cut the ribbon to unveil the site. Mr Downes is rightly proud of the facility: "It's unique in the UK as whilst Crystal Palace and Millwall have also bought this type of surface for their training grounds, we are the only club to have it as a full size pitch. We're grateful to everyone who has helped us, notably Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council".

As well has benefiting the first team, the clubs 30 junior teams will be training on the new pitch which will also be available for use by the wider community.
all weather pitch
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all weather pitch
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Saturday 5th March 2005
 
Picture Diary Update - De Montfort Park The Opening Day
De Montfort Park De Montfort Park De Montfort Park De Montfort Park
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The De Montfort Stadium was opened on 5th March 2005 with the first match against Stalybridge Celtic. A crowd of 2029 came to watch a 1-1 draw, with Jamie Lenton scoring the first goal at the ground in the 22nd minute, before Keeling equalised in the 65th minute for Stalybridge. Photos of the match can be viewed in the Photo Gallery here:
Stalybridge Celtic in the Photo Gallery March 2005
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Friday 25th February 2005
Picture Diary update #20 - last but not least...
The final entry into the picture diary, with 1 week to go before moving to our new home. The turnstyles are just being finished off, the pitch boundary is almost complete and the astro turf "technical area" in front of the dugouts is being laid down. The fans open day, for a chance to have a tour of the ground, is next Friday 4th March 7pm, and the first game will be on the Saturday 5th March against Stalybridge Celtic.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Monday 21st February 2005
 
It's the final countdown for Middlefield Lane
Chairman Kevin Downes has confirmed that this Saturday's match, February 26th, at Middlefield Lane v Bradford Park Avenue will be the final match to take place on the ground and that the first game at the Marston Stadium will be against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday 5th March.

The club have announced that ALL admission to Middlefield Lane this Saturday, February 26th, will be FREE. Yes FREE to ALL this Saturday!

The issue of season ticket holders will be addressed to compensate those who purchased season tickets.

Supporters are also invited to an open evening at the Marston Stadium on Friday 4th March, starting at 7pm.
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Friday 18th February 2005
Picture Diary update #19 - Turnstyles go in
The opening of the Marston Stadium has been delayed a further two weeks. The club have announced that the planned 1st game will now be on Saturday 5th March against Stalybridge Celtic. There will also be a fans day before that match for supporters to tour the new ground, expected to be Tuesday March 1st, though not confirmed yet. Meanwhile the exterior wall is almost complete with just the turnstyles to finish off, and the pitch side boundary fence has also begun to be erected around the ground.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Thursday 13th January 2005
Picture Diary update #18 - Finishing the bits and bobs
With the news that the opening match will be put back a bit more here is the update on the current progress on de Montfort Park, including the finishing touches to the interior of the Main Stand and fitting out James' kitchen.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Tuesday 11th January 2005
 
New Stadium, New Setback
The Marston Stadium and De Montfort Park complex has suffered another setback delaying the opening match by a further month. Problems with the Highway Authority concerning access to the complex, delays installing the perimeter fencing and general Health & Safety measures have caused the second delay to the opening day. The first match for the new Stadium has now been scheduled for Saturday 26th February, against Bradford Park Avenue.
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Tuesday 7th December 2004
 
First day disappointment for Marston's Stadium
The Marston Stadium's construction will be completed in time for the Boxing Day deadline, but thanks to a 72 page Health & Safety dossier recently sent to the club, there will now not be sufficient time to complete all safety checks before the planned first game against Kettering. As a result of this the Club have unfortunatley announced that that the planned first game will now have to be put back to January 2005. With January having 3 away games in the latter half of the month, the club are now looking at 29th January against Ashton United being the opening game.
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Sunday 28th November 2004
Picture Diary update #17 - Floodlights, Fittings and Fixtures
The Floodlights are put in place and the hard standing around the pitch is finished off. Meanwhile the fittings and fixtures work is carried on inside the Main Stand.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Thursday 14th October 2004
 
Interior Design, where's that bird off the telly?
The Marston Stadium's interior design has been planed with businesses and backers in mind. In order to bring in as many businesses as possible, the club have invited businesses to help design the interior of the catering and conference facilities. The Social Club will be run on a full time basis and has been designed with extra rooms for hire and with the VIP areas at the top of the Main Stand able to cater for up to 500, this opens up the doors to a new range of possibilities. Wedding fairs, meal functions, comedy nights, amateur boxing, after dinner speeches, business lectures and conferences are just some of the areas that the club are looking to attract. A Leicester based company has even asked if the club are willing to become a major venue for Asian weddings. Commercial Manager Dave Lynes said: "We have been consulting with businesses to make sure that what we have is what they are looking for. We've been flexible in how things are done and if someone has suggested something and if it has been feasable then it has been done. We want it to have a multitude of uses but it is first and foremost a football stadium."
 
Picture Diary update #16 - The East Stand & Interiors
The East Stand Terrace is almost complete and work will switch to the interior of the Social Club. Meanwhile the interior of the Main Stand is also nearing completion. All glazing is finished, internal walls have been plastered and are ready to be painted. Outside, the diggers start on the slip road at the carpark entrance.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Wednesday 22nd September 2004
 
Boxing Day derby to host first match at De Montfort Park
Hinckley United have announced that the first game to be played in the Marston's Stadium will be the Conference North match against Kettering Town on Boxing Day afternoon. Prior to that first game there will be an open day at the ground so that supporters can see the complex for themselves, and have a peek behind the scenes at the changing rooms and other facilities, etc. It had been hoped that we would host Leicester City Reserves vs West Ham Reserves at the end of November, but delays for weather mean that is now not possible. Leicester have been informed, and they will now be playing Reserve team games from January.
To begin with the complex will not be fully finished and will be a three sided ground while work on the West Stand is completed during early 2005. The club will be holding an official 'Opening Game' when the complex is completed, against opposition still to be confirmed. (Yes, I know Kevin is a Chelsea fan, but that is only a rumour and they're hardly likely to bring a first team, it'll most probably and predictably be Leicester!)
 
Picture Diary update #15 - The East Stand & Social Club
Work continues on the East Stand & Social Club as the brickwork is well on the way to being completed, before the internal work on the Social Club starts.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Friday 27th August 2004
 
Picture Diary update #14 -
The East Stand & Social Club gets a roof and the Main Stand has it's internal structure erected, not sure if the bicycle is a permanent fixture though!
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Friday 30th July 2004
 
Marstons to Triumph with Hinckley United
When the doors officially open on the £4 million Marstons Stadium complex in November it will be the culmination of months of hard work. Sponsors have been queueing up to get involved and big backing has already been secured by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries and Triumph Motorcycles.
Marstons Regional Manager Bob Leatherland told the Heartland Evening News: "Marstons have always had a big presence in the area and we identified this as an ideal opportunity to form a partnership. The Downes family are a big association and we knew that when they did the new ground, they were going to do it right. This isn't something we've done on a quick whim, this is something we want to develop over a long period of time. It is a cracking opportunity and it is not just about selling beer either, though the more we get through the gates - it helps! We are looking forward to a successful campaign for Hinckley United this season and for many more to come as the Stadium and the club move onwards and upwards."
Building of the New Stadium Hinckley's Festival Queen Rachael Richie models with the latest 2 Litre, 2500rpm - Triumph Rocket III motorbike (pictured left) as Triumph Motorcycles UK Sales and Marketing Manager Bruno Tagliaferri also talked to the Heartland Evening News about their shirt sponsorship: "This is a good thing for us because we employ over 500 people literally 2 miles down the road who are all local lads coming from the Hinckley, Nuneaton and Bedworth area. It is a big association we now have with this progressive club and I feel it will develop even more. While we are a worldwide company with over 80% of our products being exported, we are starting to get an association with Hinckley which is synonymous with Jaguar and Coventry. Projects like this can only strengthen the association. We already have links with Leicester Tigers and we are into race sponsorship, including our own racing team. From the local spin-offs we get from this to the national coverage in the League and Cup competitions this can only be good for both parties. It is clear in the factory how strong the support is for football and hopefully they will be coming down to support Hinckley." The new Hinckley United playing strip will see the first glimpse of the new Triumph corporate logo. Tagliaferri added: "It will be the first exercise where the new corporate logo will appear. To the man in the street it might not look any different but to the cognoscenti who know our logo and style there have been some subtle changes to it."
 
Picture Diary update #13 - Pitch growing quickly
The quick growing grass seed is erm, growing fast as you can see. The brickwork for the North Terrace Stand is almost complete and the crash barriers have been placed on the terrace. All the steelwork for the Social Club is in place but work has switched to the interior of the Main Stand for the time being as the floor is laid and the upper rooms are partitioned.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Thursday 8th July 2004
 
Picture Diary update #12 - Social Club and East Stand works
Work is still continuing on the East Stand, Social Club end.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Friday 2nd July 2004
 
Picture Diary update #11 - Social Club and East Stand works
The Social club and the East Terrace Stand are coming along at a fast pace. Here's where the works are currently at.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Saturday 26th June 2004
 
Picture Diary update #10 - Social Club and East Stand works
The pitch is almost complete now, so work has begun on the East Terrace Stand and the Social Club which will adjoin the stand. The entrance to the ground and the car park will be here, so the first thing fans will see upon entering De Montfort Park will be the Social Club.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Friday 18th June 2004
 
Picture Diary update #9 - Pitch gets laid
The pitch surface has been levelled and the top soil has been spread on top, while the brick work begins to take shape on the Main Stand and the North Stand.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Friday 11th June 2004
 
Picture Diary update #8 - Seats go into the Main Stand
The seats bought from Leicester City's Carling Stand, when it was demolished, have now been given their new home in the Main Stand.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Wednesday 19th May 2004
 
The Marstons Stadium - De Montfort Park
Building of the New Stadium Hinckley United have signed a stadium sponsorship deal with Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries which will see their new De Montfort Park ground renamed 'The Marstons Stadium'. The Brewery have paid what Regional Sales Manager Bob Leatherland called a "substantial six figure sum" to secure the naming rights with the money spread at £25000 per year, over a ten year period. Mr Leatherland added: "This is part of our on going strategy to develop our brand in the town and community of Hinckley and increases our sponsorship portfolio which already includes Derby County, Walsall and Warwickshire County Cricket Club." Building of the New Stadium
Hinckley Chairman Kevin Downes was delighted with the deal: "It's a huge deal for us, and will help develop the facilities at our new ground on Leicester Road".
click thumbnails for the bigger picture
Mr Downes added that negotiations were taking place with Leicester City for the 'Foxes' reserves side to play some of their matches at The Marstons Stadium.
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Tuesday 18th May 2004
 
Picture Diary update #7 - East Terrace & West Stand
The foundation work for the East Terrace Stand is almost complete, ready for the steelwork for both the terrace and the social club, as after all, this will be the social club end.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Friday 16th April 2004
 
Picture Diary update #6 - North & South Stands
The North Terrace Stand has it's steel framework almost completed and its concrete terracing in place, while the roof begins to be assembled on the Main Stand.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
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Sunday 28th March 2004
 
Picture Diary update #5 - North Terrace Stand
With the steel and concrete in place for the Main Stand, now the North Terrace Stand begins to take shape.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Click for the bigger picture
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Wednesday 3rd March 2004
 
Picture Diary update #4 - Main Stand Continues
Building of the New Stadium The Main Stand is beginning to take shape as the seating section has it's concrete base fitted. It appears there will be 10 rows of seats in 5 sections. Courtesy of the Big Man Simon Blyth, here are the pictures of the lads fitting those sections. Spare a thought for them having to work outside in the freezing cold, Simon tells me their names are John, Phil and Joe.
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Click for the bigger picture
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Wednesday 25th February 2004
 
Picture Diary update #3 - Main Stand Frame
What a difference a fortnight makes. No sooner do I get the pictures online the other week than they go and start on the stand. Here are the pictures of the steel framework going up.
 
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Click for the bigger picture
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Monday 16th February 2004
 
Picture Diary update #2 - progress
Winter out of the way, and work has started again. The foundations for the West Stand and South Stand (Main Stand) have begun and here are the pictures to prove it.
 
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Click for the bigger picture
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Thursday 27th November 2003
 
Picture Diary update #1 - at last
Just over a year ago I made the first entry into the picture diary of the building of the new ground. Thanks to the camera handy work of Simon Blyth, I can now give you the first update in the diary. Click the thumbnails below to see work progress.
 
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Click for the bigger picture
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Friday 3rd October 2003
 
Yes, Yes, Yes, it's finally started, as the diggers move in.
Kevin Downes and Jon Stanley celebrate with cheap champagne
Kevin Downes and Cllr Jon Stanley celebrate.
Work has begun on Hinckley United's brand new $4 million stadium complex which will be one of the finest non-league grounds in the Midlands. The new complex, across 22 acres of land, will have a 4000 capacity stadium as the centre piece. 3 full size pitches, 2 ¾ size pitches, 3 ½ size pitches and an all weather floodlit surface will complement the main stadium. A sports injury clinic, a gym, several changing room facilities and a Social Club will complete the complex. It will all be financed by the sale of the club's existing home of Middlefield Lane at the end of this season, along with a number of grants. For Chairman Kevin Downes and his board it is the end of two years of hard work. Downes said: "Work starts in earnest next week and it should all be completed by the end of July. We will be there for the start of next season. It's been hard work for two years and we have had to overcome a lot of obstacles, but we are finally there. We initially thought that it would take 12 months to build and now we are having to do it in 10, weather permitting. With everything we have to offer for youth football
in the area, we want it to be a centre of recreation for the town and above all football."
Mayor of Hinckley & Bosworth, Cllr Jon Stanley said: "It's great for the town and for the club who have been knocking on the door for some time now, and I hope this is the start of a long and successful history. The stadium will have a good capacity and in a few years if the club aspires greater than being in the Conference, then the facilities could change. I'm absolutely delighted to be here and to watch the new ground starting off. They have our full support."
Manager Dean Thomas is relishing the thought of leading out his team at the start of next season, when hopefully they will be in the new Conference Second division. He said: "This is a massive thing for the town and it is a chance for the club to really get out there and bring businesses on board for a major development. It is down to the hard work from the chairman and board, who have been determined to see this through."

Article and picture shamelessly ripped off, to the point of almost copying word for word, from the Heartland Evening News. Buy it, it's quite good.
 
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Thursday 17th July 2003
 
Bank of Scotland the bank that likes to say 'yes'
Kevin Downes has revealed that, after being amateurishly let down by the HSBC, a finance deal for a bridging loan has been agreed with the Bank of Scotland. This will enable Hinckley United to begin work on the building of the new ground, which is due to start early August.
 
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Saturday 21st June 2003
 
HSBC the bank that likes to say 'no'
United have received yet another setback to their plans for a new stadium. Having overcome the discovery of an ancient crop enclosure on the site of the £3 million development on Leicester Road, and paid for the removal and relaying of fibre optic cables for BT, the club have now been dealt a blow with the bank who were providing the bridging loan pulling out at the 11th hour.
The club have been negotiating the bridging loan with their bankers HSBC for the last 15 months, but less than a week before contracts were due to be exchanged, the bank pulled out of the deal, explaining they do not provide such loans to football clubs.
Chairman Kevin Downes was left exasperated by this latest setback:
"It's been frustrating to have to overcome so many hurdles, and this is just the latest. Our negotiations with HSBC had been very amicable over the last 15 months with a view to them providing us with the bridging loan, enabling us to commence work on the new ground before we had received the money for the sale of Middlefield Lane. Then last week, less than a fortnight before the documentation was due to be signed, the bank informed us it was not their policy to deal in this way with football clubs."
Despite the setback, Mr Downes explained it was not a terminal blow to the club's new stadium on Leicester Road:
"We are in negotiations with other banks and I anticipate we will have the deal re-financed within the next 14 days or so. In spite of this delay, we are still on course to begin the 2004-05 season in our new stadium."
 
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Thursday 24th April 2003
 
Council back down on unfair levy
Hinckley Borough Council have backed down and withdrawn their demand for £50000, for traffic calming measures at Middlefield Lane, from Hinckley United. The Borough Council realised they could not win any possible appeal by the football club and so withdrew their claim. This led to planning permission for houses on the site being approved plus the outstanding environmental issues being resolved on the Leicester Road site. Kevin Downes has said he hopes now for a completion date for the new stadium to be May 2004.
 
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Thursday 17th April 2003
 
So much for the Council wanting to help?
Hinckley United are set to receive a major setback to their new stadium development. Plans for the redevelopment of Middlefield Lane go before Hinckley Borough Council Planning Committee on Wednesday 23rd April. The Football Club have been hit with the £50000 fee for traffic calming measures which they are disputing, however planning officers have recommended that the application be refused if the bill is not met. According to Chairman Kevin Downes the main contention is that David Wilson Holmes did not have to make a contribution on the Netherley Road site during phase one of the Middlefield Lane design brief.
He said: "There just seems to be one rule for one and one for another. We've already made significant contributions towards Richmond Park, as well as education monies which everyone has to pay. This on top seems to be totally unfair."
 
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Thursday 20th March 2003
 
Money makes the World go Round...
Hinckley United have been dealt a severe financial blow as they have been hit with an 'unforseen' £150000 demand. Club officials claim that Hinckley & Borough Council have demanded £50000 for traffic calming measures on Middlefield Lane, despite Leicester County Council not requiring any such measures. Radleigh Homes were given the demand for contribution, and they passed the bill onto the Football Club.
Following that British Telecom saw the 'dollar signs' and claimed that fibre-optic cables supplying Earl Shilton and Barwell would require moving, because of the development, and their estimation for this is £100000.
Chairman Kevin Downes is very far from being a happy little bunny. He said:
"We've been hit with a double whammy. It's very disappointing that we have to make a contribution to traffic calming measures on Middlefield Lane. It seems no one feels it is necessary, certainly not the County Council. The £100000 British Telecom are demanding is a huge sum of money for a club of our size, especially after we made a significant contribution towards funding the schools and parks that will serve the new housing development.
We simply don't have £150000 to play with, so we will have to compromise on some stadium facilities. It could be that we cannot build as much covered terracing for our fans or some of the facilities for the juniors may not be as good as planned. It's not something we want to do, but these bills give us no choice. Something has to give."

On a positive note, The world's slowest archaeologists have finally given their go ahead for work to commence on site - whoo hoo.
 
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Friday 28th February 2003
 
Show me the money, show me the money...
Hinckley United have been offered a grant from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund for the new stadium, but as yet are undecided wether to accept or not. The Club had applied for £250000 to go towards development, but were left disappointed to be offered £28000 coupled with 24 conditions of use for the grant. Hinckley Secretary said: "Although obviously £28000 is still a large amount of money it comes with 24 stipulations regarding use. The club must decide if it is in the best interests to accept the grant. There is a 'Grass Roots' grant that we could also apply for, but again there would be restrictions on use, so I don't know if that's an option."

Work on the stadium itself is still stalled due to the world's slowest archaeologists. Further to initial survey work on the 17th Century Crop Enclosure, the club have now been informed that a number of bore holes will need to be sunk to forward the investigations. The Club is hoping the necessary work will be completed within the next few weeks and building of the new ground can finally begin.
Report taken from a big 'swag' bag formerly belonging to the Hinckley Times.
 
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Thursday 23rd January 2003
 
Recently Andy Gibbs spoke to our chairman on behalf of the Matchday Programme. The interview appeared in the Hastings United issue, but here it is shamelessly and blatantly copied in case you missed it. This is what Kevin Downes had to say:
"2003 is going to be an enormous year for us, so let me outline the plans for our new ground on Leicester Road. There is still a little red tape to be sorted out in terms of traffic and environmental issues, but once those bits are sorted by the Council, we will start work immediately. The schedule for completion is early November.
This means that we will start next season at Middlefield Lane, but as soon as the ground is complete we will begin playing at our new home. We are hoping to open the ground officially by inviting a Premiership club for a friendly.
Initially the capacity will 4000 with 520 seats, but as and when the need arises we can increase this to 6000 with 1000 seats. The main stand will be covered seating, to the left of the main stand will be the social club with covered terracing behind the goal, opposite the main stand will be covered terracing running the length of the pitch, whilst behind the other goal will be terracing which may be covered depending on the cost. There will also be car parking for 285 cars.
On the site there will be the main first team pitch, 3 further full size pitches, 2 three-quarter size pitches, 3 half size pitches and 1 all weather three quarter size pitch. These have been developed with our thriving junior section in mind. For those that don't know we have a number of junior sides from under 7's upwards who play their matches at different venues around Hinckley, so having all the youth sides playing at the new ground will provide them with a real sense of identity.
Adjacent to the junior pitches will be four changing rooms, whilst the changing rooms for the main pitch will be incorporated within the main stand complex, alongside a gymnasium and a sports injury clinic.
We have done a lot of research to ensure the main pitch has as good a playing surface as possible, in total we are spending £150000 on all the pitches and around £35000 on the main pitch alone. this will have an irrigation system, with water tanks alongside the pitch and a computerised pop-up sprinkler system built into the pitch.
The club's commitment to the new ground is total. So far we have spent around £60000 which has been swallowed up in professional fees, planning applications and the purchase of a number of items from Leicester City when they vacated Filbert Street. Amongst those items are 1000 seats, 8 turnstiles and a pump for the irrigation system.
Because the formalities of the deal are not yet finalised we haven't received the money for the sale of Middlefield Lane, so as you can imagine the club is stretched financially in the short term. We have not yet decided on a name for the new stadium and are quite happy to consider any suggestions. It is our intention to run a competition in the programme and the Hinckley Times to come up with ideas.
We are not ruling out a sponsorship deal. If a company would like to have their name on the stadium and come up with a suitable deal, then it would be considered. We would also like to extend the sponsorship them to the supporters. Stands, seats, bricks - if supporters would like to see their name permanently etched on items in the stadium, we will be looking at schemes in the new year.
So there you have it, to paraphrase Del and Rodney, this time next year... we'll be in our new home. I hope you'll all enjoy the experience. Thanks again for your continued support."
 
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Monday 20th January 2003
 
Work begins on the New Stadium, er, then stops again.
Work finally began on the New Stadium Project last week, however the initial geophysical ground survey indicated 17th Century archaeological remains on the site. That means Hinckley United will now have to suspend workings and pay for an archaeological survey to be done, before work can recommence, which has now been scheduled for 17th February.
 
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Wednesday 6th November 2002
 
Hinckley United gain Planning Permission
Hinckley United have been given planning permission to build their New Stadium on land off Leicester Road. The plans were passed at a Planning Committee meeting last night, the Committee was all in favour of the proposal and, indeed, there was no need for a vote on the matter. Work is expected to begin on the site within the New Year.
Radleigh Homes Ltd also had their plans, for homes on the Middlefield Lane site, approved at the same meeting.
 
A story in pictures, the current state of the new stadium.
Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium Building of the New Stadium
Click for the bigger picture
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Thursday 28th August 2002
 
If at first you don't succeed...
Hinckley United have resubmitted it's application to build their new ground on land off Leicester Road, after the initial application was deemed incomplete due to lack of a traffic impact assessment. Although the new application has been registered and the plans are available for viewing at the council offices, a Borough Planning Officer has said it would be 'highly unlikely' that they would be considered at the next meeting. He explained that it was because their is a need for consultation with the County Council and Highways Authority.
As usual report stolen almost word for word from The Hinckley Times.

Hinckley Independent comment:
The Council want us to move so they can keep up their quota for new homes. Knowing as they do that the new ground has to be ready and inspected for a grading before next season starts, after having publicly said they would help us as much as possible doesn't anyone else think they seem to be dragging out the process as much as possible?
 
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Friday 2nd August 2002
 
Local Council's True Colours?
A planning application submitted by FE Downes Sports for a change of use for land off Leicester Road to a football ground has been deemed invalid by borough council planners who say the application is incomplete.
The club must now amend and resubmit the plans before they can be considered by borough councillors sitting on the local authority's planning and regulatory Committee (gravy train?).
Report, again, stolen from The Hinckley Times.

Hinckley Independent comment:
Sing along with Johnny Quango!
 
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Saturday 8th June 2002
 
Countdown to 2003-04 Ground Grading begins
Hinckley United has announced it's intention to buy land that will enable it to progress with plans to build a £3 million purpose-built stadium on the outskirts of the town. It is intended that the 22 acre site, next to the existing Leicester Road sports complex, will incorporate a new 6000 capacity stadium including: seating for 500, parking for at least 250 cars, a floodlit all-weather pitch and extra junior and senior pitches. The club hopes to submit the finalised plans soon with the hope of them coming before the borough council’s planning committee at its July meeting. The sale of the club’s Middlefield Lane ground is expected to generate more than £3 million, with extra funding being made available through grants from two national bodies, the Football Foundation and Football Stadia. Time is now very much of the essence for United, who need to be established at their new home by the start of the 2003-04 campaign. With the shake-up in the pyramid league system now imminent, the FA has set guidelines which all non-league clubs must comply. Blueprint for New Stadium
Click for the bigger picture
Blueprint for New Stadium
Click for the bigger picture
In short, any club with a ground deemed not to be up to FA standards could be automatically relegated, regardless of final league position or the club’s financial stability - a fate which the United board are striving to avoid at all costs. Vice-chairman Mr Rob Mayne said: "We’ve really got to be aiming for Conference and above. If we stay put, even if we redevelop Middlefield Lane, we’ll be relegated, it’s as simple as that. This has been going on for more than 12 months and the vision is now beginning to develop into more than my wildest dreams. We have the opportunity to go forward with football in this town and we’ve got to seize it with both hands. It will be absolutely tremendous for football in Hinckley, and something which has never happened before. Hopefully it will be something that the town, in fact the whole borough,can be proud of."
Report and piccies shamelessly ripped off from The Hinckley Times.

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