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Stadium Relocation Planning Application

June 5, 2017

sonstrustlogoFOLLOWING confirmation that an application for the development of a new stadium for Dumbarton FC has been lodged by Brabco, the clubs owners, on behalf of the company established for the relocation project*, the Sonstrust has committed itself to constructive engagement on the details of the plan (now viewable here at WDC) — which will go out to public consultation as part of a careful process of evaluation. 

The following initial statement has been issued on behalf of the trust: 

“After several years of uncertainty there is a sense of relief that the planning application for a new stadium has now been submitted, and that we should have clarity on whether or not this development is going ahead by the end of the year.

“We note that according to the statement on the club website the application has gone in under the name of Brabco, the majority shareholders and owners, not the club itself.* This is important in terms of financial liability for the application and the project overall.

“We have always been told that the club itself will have no liability for a new stadium build, so that if there are future problems they will not imperil the club’s assets and its future sustainability. This is vital for us as fans, obviously.

“We will now be looking at the planning application, which we have not been shown ahead of its submission, in detail. We have had several indicative meetings with Brabco in the run-up to their application, to discuss general principles and concerns.

“Obviously, it is now all about the detail, the feasibility of the plans, the financing, the security of the club, and building a stronger  partnership moving forward between ourselves as supporters, the new chairman, the club board and the majority shareholders.”

The trust remains committed to its longstanding position, agreed at two AGMs and implemented by our board, which is that whether DFC moves or stays, the right decision is the one that will best benefit the club we love.

Regarding the proposal for a new stadium at Dalmoak, many supporters remain to be assured that the development will be workable and sustainable — but there is also openness and positivity towards continuing progress for the club on and off the field.

In addition to communications and projects officer Simon Barrow, who has been leading for us in negotiations with the owners on the new stadium proposals, our nominated representatives in ongoing discussions with Brabco (we have had three meetings so far), as well as club director and trust representative Alan Findlay, are trust board member Alistair Thorn and fans’ spokesperson (and former DFC trust director) Stephen Lynch.

We are anticipating a number of meetings over the summer to look at the plans and the way they might be realised in detail, and we are also doing our own work on income generation possibilities moving forward, as well as the transition of the trust from a provident society (a cooperative) to a democratically run Community Interest Company (CIC).

As far as the stadium relocation and redevelopment is concerned, if the plans prove beneficial and sustainable for the club, meeting the needs of supporters and the community as well as the developers, we remain more than willing to get behind them. But solid business modelling, transparency, positive engagement with supporters and the community, contingency planning (a ‘plan B’) and provable, practical deliverability remain absolutely vital to ensure the ‘win-win’ solution that Brabco have assured us this will be. That is what we will continue to ask for and work for moving forward.

Note * ‘Dumbarton Community Football’, the name on the application, is a company established for the stadium development by Brabco 736 Ltd., not the club itself.


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