Shropshire

Ludlow football stadium saved by local couple

Ludlow stadium
Image caption Ludlow's stadium was opened by Sir Bobby Charlton in 2002

A football stadium has been saved by a Shropshire couple who sold their supermarket business in 2012.

Ludlow's ground, which opened in 2002 and is home to 19 teams including AFC Ludlow, was under threat of closure because the previous owners struggled to pay the business rates.

Roy and Ruby Delves, who once ran the Tuffins supermarkets, agreed to step in after a meeting earlier.

They said all current bookings would be honoured.

The couple said they would work to find a solution to paying business rates and appealed to local people to get behind them.

"A huge lack of support from many people using the stadium in the past is a big issue and needs to be addressed urgently," they said.

'Worrying time'

Neil Sambrook from the Shropshire FA said it had been a "worrying time" and the organisation was "anxious to see that happens".

Shropshire Council said it had also been working with the owners to keep the ground open.

The pitches and the main stand were bought by a consortium led by Matt Davies last year after Ludlow Town Football Club went into receivership in 2012.

But Mr Davies called a crisis meeting last week to say he could no longer afford what he called "extortionate" business rates.

He said bringing in new owners would ensure the stadium's future and he would remain at the club in an advisory capacity.

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