Altrincham FC have breathed a huge sigh of relief after agreeing a lease extension with the Council that will see the club stay at Moss Lane until at least 2095.
The club already had 40 years left on the lease but were forced into a renegotiation with Trafford Council by Viridor, one of the main backers behind the Robins’ new community sports hall.
The recycling and waste management company had donated £115,000 towards the £750,000 project through its not-for-profit organisation Viridor Credits Environmental Company, but a prerequisite for the grant was that the lease was in place for a minimum of 80 years.
Below: Altrincham FC’s ground on Moss Lane
Discussions between the club and the council took several months, much longer than originally thought, and a new 80-year lease was eventually signed on April 16th.
Club chairman Grahame Rowley told us: “It’s been quite harrowing as the future of the club at Moss Lane was in jeopardy, so it’s a big weight off our shoulders.
“What it means now is that it gives us security of tenure for the next 80 years. We can plan future developments for the long term. We’ve been here for 105 years and we will be here for the foreseeable future.”
Altrincham have played at Moss Lane since 1910, winning their first game 3-1 against Macclesfield. The Robins’ history can actually be traced back to 1891, when they were known as the Rigby Memorial Club and formed from a local Sunday School.
The club were founder members of the Manchester League in 1893 and played on a variety of fields before acquiring a home at Pollit’s Field in 1903, the year they changed their name to Altrincham FC, before moving to their current home seven years later.
Top picture: Michael Ripley