Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Relocation Planning Updates

January 2018

Copy of Letter of Support by Dumbarton FC Board to West Dunbartonshire Council.

Dear Mr. Darroch,

Planning Application ref. DC17/140, Dumbarton Football Club Relocation
Letter of support

We write to provide you with our formal support for the approval of the planning application for the relocation of Dumbarton Football Club to Young's Farm, which is being promoted by the majority owners of the Club.

As you and your colleagues are aware, the Board of Dumbarton FC has a vision of a successful, financially viable Football Club playing at the highest viable and sustainable level within Scottish football and contributing as a reliable partner to the economic and social well-being of its community. To achieve its vision the Club will require to:

Grow the fan base and become the first club of choice north west of Glasgow;
Grow the revenue from corporate groups adding value for sponsors; and
Build a sustainable non‐matchday revenue base.

In order to achieve this vision, a larger stadium that has a greater range and quality of in-stadium facilities for the use of both the teams, supporters, businesses and the community is required. As a result of work done since the last LDP review process, the Club aspires to a stadium which has the potential to accommodate up to 4,000 spectators, along with relevant stadium related infrastructure and facilities. If this capacity and necessary promotions can be achieved the team would be eligible to play in the Scottish Premier League.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to achieve this vision at our current location, and it has become necessary to relocate the Club from its present location to develop a new stadium.

Significant levels of spending on repair and renewal of our existing facilities over the next 5 years would mean less finance available for the football team, which would likely reduce performance with the knock-on effect of decreasing fan attendance and associated match-day revenue. If DFC remain at Castle Road there is a serious risk of entering a cycle of decline which would be very difficult to reverse.

The Club is therefore excited at the opportunity promote participation in sport and exercise as part of the new stadium development. Indeed, the Club aspires to create flexible indoor space and outdoor all-weather surfaces, which would be available for community use and allow its team to train in Dumbarton.

We have the ambition to provide a pathway for local young talent to enter the senior football game, in turn improving the standard of our first team. We strongly believe that this emphasis on the promotion of participation in sport and exercise for all would result in significant and tangible health benefits for the local community.

We are aware that the principal of the relocation of DFC to Young's Farm was accepted as part of the last review of the West Dunbartonshire Council LDP, subject to further assessment of a number of technical issues. The investors in DFC have provided a detailed justification for the relocation of the club from its existing location as part of the planning application, together with a detailed assessment of the various site constraints and opportunities. This demonstrates that the plans can be delivered as proposed.

This allocation in the Proposed LDP also includes an acceptance of the requirement for enabling forms of development to cross-fund the stadium. This is critical to the relocation proposals, and will ensure that the Club is not saddled with any debt and allow DFC to be able to realise the benefits for the new community sports hub upon occupation. The DFC majority investor group have identified that residential development is the only viable route that will deliver the 13.5m investment in the proposed development. We understand that residential uses in the greenbelt location may perhaps be hard for planners to support, but we nevertheless strongly believe that the overriding economic and social benefits that will be realised as a result of the development should be sufficient to overcome greenbelt policy issues.

We therefore lend our strong support to the planning application for the relocation of DFC to the site at Young's Farm. I would be grateful if you could keep me informed on the progress of the application, and in particular when it may be determined at Planning Committee.

Dumbarton FC

23rd December 2017

A campaign has been launched to win support for a new Dumbarton Community Football Stadium and community facilities at Young's Farm in the town.

The proposals, which have been ten years in the making, are to use the funds raised from new homes for families to build an exciting new community football stadium and facilities for the club and community alike.

The proposals include:

*A new 4,000 capacity Community Stadium and home for Dumbarton FC
*2 full size 3G pitches and 5 a-side pitches
*A restaurant and full hospitality facilities
*New 'hub' for community football to complement East End and Argyll Parks
*A sustainable future for the club, first-class facilities for local Dumbarton Clubs, and a facility serving the Dumbarton Football Development League
*Town centre regeneration on the existing stadium site and support for Dumbarton Castle as a world class visitor attraction

Commenting on the proposals Chris Stainton on behalf of the Dumbarton Board said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Dumbarton Football Club and for Dumbarton.

"We have worked hard to get the best proposals possible to bring forward fantastic new facilities that create a sustainable future for our club, and that also create some of the very best community football facilities in Scotland.

"These proposals also support the council's aspirations to regenerate Dumbarton town centre and develop and improve Dumbarton Castle as a world class visitor attraction.

"We need as many people as possible to give these proposals a 'thumbs up' to make this happen."

Gary Macdonald, Vice Chairman of Dumbarton United FC added, "This is a great opportunity for our local clubs and local communities. We'll never get another chance to secure 13.5million investment in local sports facilities, and this gives local grass roots clubs like ours and many others the opportunity to increase participation in physical activity and have a healthier lifestyle.

"This is a really exciting proposal that will bring benefits to people in the local area."

The proposals will also benefit 200 teams involved in the Dumbarton Youth Football Development League, and communities well beyond Dumbarton.

"I think this is a wonderful opportunity not only for Dumbarton Football Club but and the wider community. An investment like this is a win-win for the club, but just as importantly it is a win for all the youngsters involved in football in the wider community. This is more than an investment in the future of a club, vitally important though that is, it's actually an investment in the future of our young people as well. We endorse it totally.' Said Colin Nicholson the Chair of the Dumbarton Football Development League.

Chairman of The Sons Supporters Trust (Sonstrust) Brian Payne commented, 'We want Dumbarton FC to have a thriving future, with fans and the community at it's heart. A sustainable community stadium development could create major opportunities for us and for the local area, which we want to be fully part of.'

The campaign will be rolled out in the coming weeks to support the planning application for the new facilities, which will be decided on at the Planning Committee of West Dunbartonshire Council on the 31st January.

The club, local teams and supporters will be making the case for the biggest investment the area has ever seen in new community football facilities. The proposals also compliment the Council's strategy to regenerate Dumbarton Town Centre. There are plans to create a new 'boardwalk' on the waterfront linking Dumbarton Castle and the town centre, a new visitor centre for the castle and extra parking provision.

Chris Stainton added, "Dumbarton Football Club punches way above its weight in Scottish football, and that's only been achieved by the hard work and commitment of all those involved in the club.

"However, everyone knows that football finances are fragile, and everyone at the club is determined to keep Dumbarton Football Club's place as one of the successes of Scottish football, not one of its casualties.

"We need a 'thumbs up' for these proposals to create a sustainable future for our club, and provide the best facilities possible for young people growing up in the wider area."

The proposals are for development on a 110-acre site at Young's Farm, of which only 26 acres will be developed for approximately 200 new family homes. The majority of the site will be made available for community and sports facilities. The current stadium site will also be redeveloped to create c80 new homes in the heart of Dumbarton, bringing huge regeneration benefits where the improvement of the town centre is a major political priority.

For Further information, contact Donald Anderson on 07467959052, or by email at Donald.anderson@playfairscotland.co.uk

View the promotional Showreel here

Some Key Facts and Figures

*Dumbarton Football Club is one of Scotland's most successful football teams with a proud history going back to its inception in 1872, with the club winning the Scottish Football League in its first two seasons. The club is a semi-professional club still playing with considerable success in the Championship League.
*The Council (WDC) supported the principle of relocation of the club to Young's Farm in its most recent Local Development Plan.
*There are no objections to the proposals from any of the major statutory consultees with agreement reached with Transport Scotland, Scottish Water, Glasgow Airport, SEPA and SNH.
*The three main youth football clubs in the town - Renton Craigandro FC Dumbarton United FC, Dumbarton Riverside FC fully support these proposals and are excited as to the opportunities which they bring to young people.
There are 200 teams in the Dumbarton Football Development League with more than 2,000 youngsters involved, all of which will benefit from these proposals.
*The Young's Farm site is 110 acres in total, with more than 75% of the site being developed for sports and leisure use and the majority being maintained as usable green space.
*Dumbarton Castle is one of Britain's most iconic and attractive castles and has the longest recorded history of any stronghold in Scotland. The council has been looking to develop and improve this world class visitor attraction. These proposals will help facilitate the council's ambitious regeneration proposals for the castle and town centre. An economic impact study on the proposals will be released in the new year.