Poppies unveil plans for new stadium

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Kettering Town Football Club have unveiled draft plans to redevelop their Latimer Park home in Burton Latimer.

Poppies chairman Ritchie Jeune confirmed the club have ambitious hopes of building a 6,500-capacity stadium, gym, 3G pitch and sports hall on the site where they have now secured a 25-year lease.

Mr Jeune revealed his first hope would be to build a new gym, which would be partly funded by a donation of just over £19,000 the club received from the Richard Butcher Memorial Trust, which was set up in memory of the former Poppies midfielder following his death at the age of just 29 in 2011.

The Kettering chairman, who has helped guide the club away from their financial struggles, has emphasised the fact that the ideas remain at a draft stage and would be subject to planning and full consultation with local residents.

And while he has still refused to rule out any future return to Kettering, he insists the Poppies have to try to “move forward with what they have got”.

Mr Jeune said: “The plans would include a 6,500-capacity stadium, which could built up in stages. It wouldn’t have to be done in one big bang.

“But our first aim would be to build a new gym and we were fortunate to be presented with a donation of over £19,000 by Gail Butcher from the Richard Butcher Memorial Trust and our hope is to use that towards the gym, which would be brilliant for our education programme.

“We are still not writing off getting back into the town but you have to move forward with what you have got and it would be remiss of us to take a 25-year lease at Latimer Park and not make plans for the future.

“Clearly these are draft ideas and it’s all subject to planning and, of course, consultation with residents in Burton Latimer and Burton Latimer Town Council.

“We want to know what they want from a community facility, which we also hope will include a 3G pitch and new sports hall.”

On the pitch, Kettering begin their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign with a trip to Dorchester Town on Saturday.