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Salford Red Devils set for major stadium development this week

Salford Red Devils could be set for one of the biggest and most important developments with their Stadium ahead of the new Super League season.

The Red Devils looked to be starring down a barrel when the tenancy agreement with the stadium expired leaving the club technically without a stadium.

This would have seen the club in violation of the IMG minimum standards and if things stayed that way, the club would have lost their Super League status.

They have been able to agree a deal for 2024 and now the Mayor of Salford Paul Bennett is pushing for the council to acquire 100% of the stadium and secure Salford’s future.

The council are set to meet on 13th February, just days before the club start their season against Leeds Rhinos.

Important Salford Red Devils letter

Salford Red Devils v Catalans Dragons Picture by Allan McKenzie/ – 22/09/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League Round 27 – Salford Red Devils v Catalans Dragons – AJ Bell Stadium, Salford, England – Salford s Kallum Watkins & Ryan Brierley s dejection shows after their side slips to defeat against Catalans and fail to make the Betfred Super League playoffs. Salford AJ Bell Stadium

Bennett explained the situation in a letter shared on X. He said:

“I write in follow-up to the pre-decision Growth & Prosperity Scrutiny Panel meeting / briefing held on Monday 5th February 2024 and the follow-up meeting / briefing both yourself and Councillor Les Turner had with John Searle, Executive Director of Place and Rachel Rosewell, Chief Finance Officer on Thursday 8th February 2024 in connection with the forthcoming Mayoral decision (in consultation with Mayoral Team / Cabinet) on the full acquisition of the City of Salford’s Community Stadium, scheduled for Cabinet on Tuesday 13th February 2024.

“Firstly, can I thank both yourself and Councillor Les Turner, along with all Members of the Growth & Prosperity Scrutiny Panel for meaningfully engaging with the pre-decision scrutiny process, this is sincerely appreciated and is clearly demonstrative of productive working in the interests of the City of Salford, its residents, families, children & young people and communities.

“Both your own and Councillor Les Turner’s engagement also builds on Salford Conservative Party Group’s engagement to date with both the Statement of Strategic Intent and In Principle decisions already taken and routed through the City Council’s governance and Cabinet on 14th March & 24th July 2023 respectively. As both yourself and Members of Salford’s Conservative Party Group are fully aware, the decisions to build and operate a Community Stadium were taken back in 2009/10 with the expressed purpose of establishing a new home for the Salford Red Devils (RFLC), keeping this 150 year old club / institution competing within Super League, allowing the club to generate revenue through its activities at the Community Stadium and to ultimately deliver a Community Stadium for residents, families, children & young people and communities in the City of Salford.

“Along with the more recent Statement of Strategic Intent and In Principle decisions, I’ve sought through-out this entire process, especially when it was clear other options could not deliver the required outcomes for the City of Salford, to stick to the original decisions taken by the City Council back in 2009/10 to deliver a Community Stadium within the City of Salford, which would also be home for Salford Red Devils (RFLC).

“For myself, the City of Salford’s Community Stadium represents a key regeneration and economic development initiative that has not only put the City of Salford on the map, but guaranteed a home for a 150 year old club / institution who have given so much to the City of Salford over that time, creating jobs and opportunities, bringing new businesses to the City of Salford and regenerating a derelict part of the City. While I acknowledge that it certainly isn’t ‘job done’ in terms of the regeneration and economic development in this once derelict part of our City, with land disposals and associated development certainly taking longer than we had probably all hoped (let’s not forget the impacts of austerity, the COVID-19 pandemic and more recently the inflationary and interest rate challenges we’re facing as a City Council).”

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