Football club looking to bright future

NADV. A new dementia care centre is being built on ground formerly owned by Harrogate Railway FC. Pictured from left at soon to be Vida Hall are Chris Rycroft Chairman of The Rycroft Group, MD of Vida Healthcare James Rycroft, Healthcare Director of Vida Healthcare Bernadette Mossman and Chairman of Harrogate Railway FC Mick Grey. 111011AR2pic1.

NADV. A new dementia care centre is being built on ground formerly owned by Harrogate Railway FC. Pictured from left at soon to be Vida Hall are Chris Rycroft Chairman of The Rycroft Group, MD of Vida Healthcare James Rycroft, Healthcare Director of Vida Healthcare Bernadette Mossman and Chairman of Harrogate Railway FC Mick Grey. 111011AR2pic1.

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THE new clubhouse of Harrogate’s second biggest football team could open before Christmas thanks to a multi-million pound scheme which has secured its future.

Starbeck-based Harrogate Railway will finance the regeneration of Station View by selling off land, currently occupied by The Dagger and its adjoining car park, to healthcare group Vida Healthcare in a £5 million deal.

Work has now begun on building the 71-bed specialist dementia unit, which will create 70 jobs and open towards the end of 2012.

Harrogate Railway chairman Mick Gray said the 76-year-old club can now plan for the longterm.

“It is fantastic news. Harrogate is set to be a little football academy,” he said.

“I have been working on this for the last ten years. To see it finally come together is unbelievable.”

Four five-a-side floodlit football pitches and a junior football pitch will also be built.

The reserve team pitch will remain in its current location.

Income generated by the five-a-side pitches will be funnelled back into the club as they look to move up the football league pyramid.

The side currently play in the Evo-Stick First Division North, two divisions below neighbours Harrogate Town.

“Of course everyone wants to play at a higher level,” he added.

“This deal will give us a chance to challenge. Everybody at the club is happy, the members, the manager and the players.

“We will be able to build state-of-the-art facilities which will be one of the best in the league.”