Poppies agree new 25-year lease at Latimer Park
Kettering Town chairman Ritchie Jeune has confirmed the club have agreed a new 25-year lease to stay at Latimer Park.
The Poppies have been playing at their current home in Burton Latimer for the past three seasons and have now secured their long-term future there as a year-long lease was due to expire at the end of the current season.
The club are currently chasing a play-off place in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division as they bid for a return to the Vanarama National Leagues.
Last week, it was revealed that the Poppies had made a nomination to list their former home in Rockingham Road as an asset of community value.
Jeune revealed that if the nomination was successful, it “would give us the ability to bid should the land be sold”.
And as he confirmed the news of a new lease at Latimer Park, the Poppies chairman admitted the new deal doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the long-term home for the club.
“It is a positive move and it is one less thing for us to be concerned about,” Jeune said.
“Obviously the ground needs work doing to it and whether or not it would be a long-term home for the club in the National League remains up for debate hence the reason why we are still keen on Rockingham Road and other potential sites.
“But it is a long-term home for the youth and academy set-ups, which is really important.
“We have never said that Latimer Park is the final, long-term home for the club because, from our understanding, we aren’t convinced we could create a big capacity stadium on that plot.
“For where we are at this moment in time and for where we could be next year, it is a good site but it’s fantastic for the youth teams, the academy and the educational system.
“It means we can continue to grow these areas and develop the facilities accordingly.
“It has actually happened a bit later than what we hoped for.
“We wanted it done as quickly as possible because, with the work that’s needed, the people who can carry that out get booked up very quickly at this time of year.
“But it’s done now and we can get on with things and the main thing we need to do is get the drainage situation resolved.”
The Poppies initially moved to Latimer Park as part of a groundshare with United Counties League Division One club Burton Park Wanderers.
And Jeune insists Wanderers will continue to play at the ground if that’s what they want.
“Burton Park have had a change of chairman recently and, to be honest, I am not sure what they want for themselves, let alone from us,” he added.
“But, from our point of view, there would be no issue with them wanting to continue to play at Latimer Park.”