Kidderminster Harriers reveal plans to leave Aggborough for new stadium
Kidderminster Harriers today revealed plans to leave Aggborough - its home for almost 130 years.
Plans to create a new stadium on the outskirts of the town off the A451 close to its football academy have been unveiled this afternoon.
Harriers' chairman Colin Gordon said Aggborough's location near to homes in Kidderminster left the club adrift from the 'heart of the community'.
Proposals had been tabled to Wyre Forest District Council for the new stadium development in Zortech Avenue.
The site is near the district council's offices close to Wyre Forest Golf Club.
The news emerged as the club held a sponsors and partners event on this evening.
The stadium would be situated at the current Centre of Sporting Excellence, which is already home to its football academy and a training base to the first team.
Under the proposals, the new venue would encompass a new, purpose-built stadium and large training complex.
This would be home to Youth, Academy and senior teams. In addition the site would also feature educational facilities for all age groups.
Club officials said Aggborough would be made available for redevelopment, if the new stadium plans are agreed.
Chairman Colin Gordon said: “Now is the time for us to be thinking about the future. I fully understand and respect that there is a sentiment around Aggborough Stadium as a footballing venue – it’s played big part in my career both a long time ago and more recently too.
“But the simple fact of the matter is that we cannot be at the heart of our community if we’re sat in the middle of a housing estate – the local population is growing dramatically and we just aren’t physically in the right position to offer what we believe a football club should offer its community.
“On a Saturday afternoon we want the entire area to come and watch an attractive, winning product on the pitch, but from Monday to Friday we want people to come and learn with Kidderminster Harriers; to be educated and taught and to develop. We want to have artificial pitches that friends and colleagues can use to play football themselves and have the site as a place that acts as a real hub for the community.
“That particular part of Kidderminster is statistically deprived in many ways; lower life expectancy, higher instances of crime and even an increased rate of obesity among young people.
"These are all things that matter to us and while they aren’t things we can cure, they are things that as a football club we have a duty to try and help overcome.
“If we want to grow to become more than just a football team that relies on what the footballing product can generate then this is the only future for us – to be the sustainable, successful team and business that we want to be, this has to happen.”
Aggborough was opened in May 1890 and has a capacity of 6,444.