Oldham ready to welcome Featherstone
Ahead of the start of the new season on Wednesday when Oldham entertain 2011 Grand Final winners Featherstone Rovers at Whitebank Stadium (kick off 8pm) the club can confirm that progress continues in respect of the ground development plans.
Both before and after Oldham Council secured the purchase of the site on behalf of the club in September 2011 considerable work has been going on to bring to fruition the plans which were revealed to fans at a forum held at the club in September.
Revealing the extent of the work Chairman Christopher Hamilton said "There has been a huge amount of work undertaken in relation to the ground developments. We are aware of the fact that, as yet, we have not been able to physically start to put the plans into reality in terms of carrying out work but it is perhaps, in some ways, the most important part of the whole scheme that has, and is, currently being worked on, not only by myself but by our various consultants, Steve Winterbottom of Nicol Thomas, Phil Mayall of Muse Developments and Rob Ogden of Capita. These are the experts and have spent considerable time advising and assisting us both in relation to what the club needs as its end position but also in terms of the best way to get there.
“In addition to this we have been having ongoing discussions with various other parties, not least of which have been Oldham Council, of which the Leader Jim McMahon has visited the ground and officers of the Council including planners and executives.
“The club has kept the Rugby Football League and its Facilities Trust involved as both of these are key to the scheme being successful. We have also been very pro active in meeting with various companies within the private sector who also potentially have a key role to play. As ever with these things it is absolutely vital to get things right from the outset and everybody concerned has this at the forefront of their mind.
“There are also other opportunities which have been identified by ourselves in relation to the ground and we have spent a considerable number of hours to work on these to hopefully bring these exciting ideas to the Whitebank.
“The support of the fans is also crucial and whilst we are working hard in the background they can be assured we will keep them informed and updated on a regular basis and as often as is practically possible.
The start of the season will not mean that work cannot be undertaken and before we reach that point we will ensure that everybody including local residents has the opportunity to hear from us."