Hull KR have confirmed the purchase of Sewell Group Craven Park, with the exclusive option to purchase up to 15 acres of surrounding land from Hull City Council, has been formally agreed.
The purchase of the stadium, at full commercial value, will see the club take on the ownership of the ground for the first time since the dark days of administration in the late-1990s, when the stadium was sold to Kingston Community Developments Ltd (KCDL) to secure the club’s short-term future.
Hull KR Chief Executive, Paul Lakin heralded the agreement of the deal as a significant landmark moment for the club saying: “The deal, coming in a significant year for us on our 140th anniversary, is fantastic news for Hull Kingston Rovers, East Hull in particular, and the wider City.
“We now have the opportunity to explore our vision of delivering a special project with both the stadium and surrounding land. The exclusive purchase option on the land can be drawn down in separate parcels of estate over the next seven years. We will start the thought process immediately of how we can create an exciting, generational project.
“The development of the stadium and provision for Elite First Team / Academy training facilities that will secure our long-term sustainability along with creating a campus that contributes to both City wide and local community prosperity are the key drivers behind the vision.
Community engagement will be pivotal in our thoughts as to how we best deliver such a legacy project.”
“We’d like to pay particular thanks to the leader of the Hull City Council leader Darren Hale and all of his cabinet, who helped deliver this deal.
“We’d also like to acknowledge the work of the Rovers Supporters Group, former directors, and all our fans, at the time of our administration 20 years ago. Their efforts, including the ’Rovers on the March’, were instrumental to saving the club and building a new platform which has eventually led to this stage.
“And finally, the purchase simply cannot happen without our owner, Neil Hudgell. I’d like to thank Neil, on behalf of all the supporters, for his continued support and investment of the club.”
Hull City Council leader Daren Hale said: “As a council, we have been working with Hull KR and KCDL for some time on this deal in order to help the club achieve its long-held ambition of owning the ground and the land near it.
“I’m pleased that now the club is free to expand and improve the stadium and the surrounding land and are no longer constrained by lease arrangements.
“I hope this deal will help secure the long-term future of the club.”