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Fans secure legal protections for Vale Park

Port Vale’s stadium has become the latest in a list of dozens of football grounds listed as an ‘asset of community value’ (ACV) after an application from FSA affiliates the Port Vale Supporters’ Club (PVSC). 

The news was announced at a supporters’ club meeting on 28th November after the organisation applied to Stoke-on-Trent city council for the status back in March 2019, when former Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite was still in charge of the club.

Malcolm Hirst from PVSC said: “The granting of asset of community value status to Vale Park is great news for both for the fans and the club. The club is in very different circumstances from when the application was made and was being threatened with liquidation by our former owner.

“This recognition of the value of Port Vale to the communities of Burslem, the city of Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding areas should make all Vale fans proud.

“The award highlights the fantastic work done by the community trust, the club and the supporters’ club for the benefit of the local community. Recognition should go to Carol Shanahan, who led the foundation before she and her husband Kevin bought the club – and club secretary Colin Garlick who worked tirelessly in what were extremely difficult circumstances under the old regime.

“I’m sure the community work undertaken in the name of Port Vale will only increase going forward, it’s hugely exciting.”

The Localism Act (2011) allows for community groups to nominate assets that play an important role in communities (such as libraries, swimming pools or pubs) to be listed as an Asset of Community Value. If accepted it provides the community group with a six week period in which to express an interest in bidding for the asset should it be put up for sale.

Grounds with ACV status include Leeds United’s Elland Road and Hereford United’s Edgar Street.

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