RICHARD ATKINSON: Kettering Council should do more to help Kettering Town Football Club

Your say NNL-160615-122841001
Your say NNL-160615-122841001

An open letter to Kettering Council.

I am writing this open letter to you in the light of the recent rejection of the application to list Rockingham Road as an Asset of Community Value, and the subsequent fans petition to try to get the application, or subsequent applications, reassessed in the light of new evidence.

I have spoken to several councillors and council officers, either via email, or in person, and every one, whether supportive or otherwise, has been keen to point out that Kettering Town Football Club is a private company.

This is obviously true, but also misses the point.

The football club is much more than simply a private company – it is a historic and culturally important asset to the town and the community.

Ask anyone from outside Kettering what they know about the town, and they will generally mention two things: Wicksteed Park, and Kettering Town Football Club.

Dismissing the football club as a private company also ignores a huge body of people, who are in effect just end users of this company, i.e. the supporters.

Again though, these supporters are more than just end users – they are a shining beacon of pride and passion; they make an invaluable contribution to the community of which they are a part; and most importantly, they are the people that elected the council to represent their needs and opinions.

If the club is to thrive, then it needs firstly for people to come through its gates on matchdays, which would be infinitely more possible were the club to be back in the town it represents, and secondly to be able to attract outside investment into the club from other sources.

I would think that investors would be much more attracted to investing in a club that was in its own town, had larger attendances, and had the backing of its local council.

If the council believes that Rockingham Road is not a viable option for the club to return to the town, I’m sure the community would be delighted to hear of a better plan to achieve this aim.

I would urge the council to do all it can to help Kettering Town Football Club come home, and once more be the asset of community value that the town of Kettering needs, and truly deserves.