County Ground: Swindon Town agree to buy stadium with supporters for £2.2m

Swindon Town's County Ground
The County Ground has been Swindon Town's rented home since 1896

Swindon Town have reached an agreement in principle to buy the County Ground for £2.2m from Swindon Borough Council, jointly with the club's supporters.

The deal will need to be ratified at the council's cabinet meeting on 20 March, but is expected to be approved.

The Supporters' Trust will launch a community fundraising campaign to raise their half of the cash, selling shares.

"This can be a catalyst for great things," Swindon Town Supporters' Trust chair Steve Mytton told BBC Wiltshire.

"It's a massive, massive day. People might not understand that yet, but we've got control of our destiny. We can develop the stadium and really build a new future for the football club."

The League Two club's chairman, Lee Power, added: "This gives us a fantastic opportunity now to get some extra revenue in, make the stadium more modern, more welcoming, and - working with Steve and the supporters - to make it a home they can become proud of.

"This is a football that's probably two leagues below where it should be and hopefully this will give it the lift to get there in the forthcoming years."

The stadium was independently valued at £2.2m according to Councillor David Renard, the leader of Swindon Borough Council.

It is more than twice the amount the Supporters' Trust were initially offering for the stadium.

The two purchasing parties have a year to get the money together to buy the ground, if the sale is approved on 20 March.

The Supporters' Trust will be holding a share issue to attract investment from fans, speaking to supporters at their annual general meeting on 15 March, with Mytton adding: "We want to make it very affordable.

"We'll get that price down to as low as we can. We want thousands of fans to get involved and we'll make sure it's possible for that to happen."