Northampton

Northampton Town: Council probe into missing £10.25m starts

Northampton Town's Sixfields stadium Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Construction on the East Stand at Sixfields has not been completed, despite the council's £10.25m loan to Northampton Town

A council leader said she will do everything in her power to retrieve millions of pounds of missing public money.

Northampton Borough Council lent £10.25m to Northampton Town to redevelop the Sixfields Stadium, but work stalled.

The Conservative-controlled council has now started an internal investigation.

Its leader, Mary Markham, said the authority will look at what it "could have been done differently".

She said: "I think the public will only be satisfied if they see the return of their £10.25m and quite rightly so.

"I give my word that I will chase the people concerned."

Image caption Mary Markham said the internal investigation will look at what the council "could have been done differently"

She said the council has been talking to several businesses about potential projects on the land, which could recoup some of the money.

"There is already planning permission for retail, leisure and housing and we have people interested and specialists involved, so we are working as quickly as we can," she added.

The investigation by the council's audit committee, assisted by Price Waterhouse Coopers, could take up to a year. The committee will report on its findings, with any recommendations, to full council.

Northamptonshire Police is also carrying out a criminal investigation into alleged financial mismanagement of the funds loaned by the council, and a third inquiry is being led by external auditors KPMG.

The football club, which has been taken over since the loan went missing, has been asked to comment.

Image copyright Northampton Town FC
Image caption Work to revamp Sixfields' East Stand had ground to a halt because of a dispute

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