The future of the historic football stand at Wolverton in Milton Keynes is currently being decided.
The stand, which was completed in 1899 and made entirely of wood, could hold around 100 spectators in its hayday and was the home venue for Wolverton Town Football Club.
|The old stand next to the newer one|
But crowds had gone down by the 1990s, and the Town Club eventually folded, despite attempts to keep it afloat. The ground was then used by Milton Keynes City Football Club for their home matches and now, while a shadow of its former glory, it has the honour of having the oldest football stand in the country.
The consultation process about the redevelopment of the whole area has now started with various proposals being put forward by developers. These include renovating the stand, putting it into storage or tearing it down.
Campaigners have said that its demolition is not a foregone conclusion when the area is developed and key supporters of the stand are working on a consultation document to be followed by a public meeting next month.
Denise Illit from Wolverton Arts and Heritage says the 100-year-old stand should remain.
"We'd certainly like to see it restored in situ on the site because we consider it to be an essential part of that site" she said.
"If you are to return some character into that green area and you have new people moving into that area, they need to have landmarks and certain things that they can relate to and not have some sort of bland area that could be anywhere."
Meanwhile, local campaigner and Town Councillor for Wolverton, Mike Galloway, says that local people can determine its fate.
"Could it be taken away? yes. Could it be restored? Yes. We need the people to be speaking" he said.
"The Arts and Heritage Society have done a lot of work researching the history and this consultation that's going to be out hopefully in about a week, will include a good bit of background on the stand."
Residents in Wolverton have mixed feelings about the plans and are being invited to view the different options from the start of February at Wolverton Regeneration Information Centre (RICK), currently at the Community Centre at Tescos.
This will be open Monday to Friday from 9.00am until 12 noon and on Wednesday evenings from 5.00pm to 7.00pm.
There will also be a public meeting on 16 February 2006.