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.”