New life for McCain stands
stands at the McCain Stadium which have stood empty since the
demise of Scarborough Football Club in 2007 are to get a new lease
Scarborough Borough Council is set to
“sell” the East and West stands to Featherstone Rovers Rugby League
As part of the deal, Featherstone Rovers
will dismantle and relocate the two stands and in return will carry
out the demolition of the McCain at no cost to the council.
Meanwhile, the council is progressing the
development of a replacement football facility and the site will be
made available as part of a package of land to facilitate an
agreement with a developer to build the planned new sport and
leisure village in the Weaponness part of the town.
At the heart of the council’s proposals for
the new sport and leisure village is the development of a brand new
football ground, fit for the highest echelons of lower league
football. That is likely to lead to the return of Scarborough
Athletic who currently play their home matches in Bridlington.
The decision to demolish the Seamer Road
site will not lead to its immediate redevelopment. While the
consent of Sport England has been received to enable the demolition
to proceed, planning legislation requires that the council provides
an alternative football ground before the Seamer Road site can be
redeveloped for any purpose.
This therefore forms part of the sport and
leisure village project and it is a council requirement that the
successful developer first constructs the football ground and
leisure centre before being given the freeholds of the other sites
The Seamer Road ground is currently
derelict and was bought by the borough council in a dilapidated
state from the liquidator following the demise of Scarborough
Football Club in 2007.
Despite the council going to great lengths
to stop people entering the ground, it has been the subject of
continued trespass and vandalism and has deteriorated to the point
that the risk of serious injury to those illegally accessing the
ground was unacceptable and it could no longer be economically
brought back into sustainable use.
However, the council always believed there
was value in the two relatively newer East and West stands behind
the goals that were in good condition.
Due to the ongoing vandalism the council
decided to demolish the ground in 2010 and competitive tenders were
sought from suitable demolition companies to undertake the works.
The tenders received ranged from £45,000 up to £66,000.
Due to the perceived value in the two newer
stands, the council also approached the six bidders shortlisted for
the sport and leisure village project to ascertain whether it would
be feasible to relocate the two existing stands to the new facility
for sustainable re-use.
A mixed response was received with some
bidders considering the proposal unfeasible, to some considering
that certain elements of either the steelwork or pre-cast concrete
terracing could be reused.
There was very little consensus between the
bidders on the relative merits of re-use or not. However, almost
all seemed to be in agreement that to fully appreciate whether
there is a cost benefit to reuse the stands, or even whether the
stands can be reused at all, further due diligence would be
In addition to the considerations of
demolition or reuse, the council was also in receipt of approaches
from various sports clubs who enquired whether the council might
sell them the two stands for sustainable re-use as part of their
own ground redevelopments. Few of these enquiries came to fruition
or resulted in a firm offer for acceptance, and the council was in
receipt of only one firm cash offer from a football club.
However, in January 2011 the council was
approached by Featherstone Rovers Rugby League Club Ltd who made an
innovative and attractive offer. Featherstone Rovers proposed to
dismantle and relocate the two stands to be reused and re-erected
at their ground. In return for this Featherstone offered to
undertake the demolition works that the council requires for nil
It was therefore considered that the offer
from Featherstone Rovers RLFC represented best consideration for
the council’s asset and was also advantageous in that it will
fulfil two council objectives – the sustainable re-use of the
existing stands and the demolition of the remaining ground, thus
mitigating the health and safety risks associated with its current
The decision to dispose of the stands and set the ball rolling
on demolition of the McCain marks an important milestone for sport
in the town as it draws to an end the speculation over the future
of the former football ground, and brings the exciting development
of the Leisure Village a step forward.