AFC Rushden & Diamonds have taken a giant step towards a move to their own ground.
Diamonds, who currently play at Hayden Road in Rushden along with Rushden & Higham United, have today confirmed they have agreed, in principle, with the Duchy of Lancaster to lease 11.6 acres of land adjacent to the B645 Chelveston Road, just off the A6 near Higham Ferrers.
The proposed lease, which includes an initial 30-year term, also contains a provision for the future expansion of AFC Rushden & Diamonds facilities into a further parcel of adjacent land.
It was confirmed last week that Diamonds have signed a new lease at Hayden Road until the end of the 2022-23 season.
But they have now revealed their long-term hopes of securing a new home.
Chairman Ralph Burditt said: “This is wonderful news for the club and matters have reached this stage following years of hard work in searching for a permanent home for AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
“It’s something upon which we have been focused on from day one and allows us to plot a roadmap for the next stage of the club’s development.
“As we are supporter-owned and supporter-run club, sustainability is key and a big part of the sustainable future which we are striving for is a base from which to grow and develop.
“The agreement outlines an initial piece of land along with a further option in order to make the initial development more viable whilst ensuring that there is potential to expand should we be in a position to do so.
“There is a long path ahead, however, and we are fully committed to the new lease which has been agreed to secure the club’s immediate future at Hayden Road.
“We are also very excited about the next few years and working with other key stakeholders in the local area in order to provide a football facility that East Northants can be proud of.”
Manager Andy Peaks, whose team moved up to third in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central with a 2-0 victory over Halesowen Town on Tuesday night, added: “This is huge news.
“It has always been the dream for the club to have our own facility, and now this gives us the opportunity to make something happen.
“I know everyone on the board has been working hard behind the scenes to get to this stage and it will be a great lift for the fans, the players and everyone else involved that we can look forward to such a bright future.”