New lease secures future of Wroxham FC

One of Norfolk's most successful football clubs has secured its long-term future after agreeing a 21-year extension to its lease with landlord Trafford Estates.

Wroxham Football Club is currently flying high at the top of the Ridgeons League Premier Division and was tasting glory at Wembley only 18 months ago as runners-up in the FA Vase.

However, plans to invest in new facilities to go up to the next level have been put on hold until now because the present lease on its Skinners Lane ground expires in 18 months.

Growing anxiety about the future had led to the club lobbying for a move to a planned development site off Salhouse Road - also owned by Trafford Estates - next to where 300 homes could be built.

Club trustee Kenny Cooke said securing the new lease, with an option to extend it, meant the club could stay put.

He said: 'This is great news for the club and as Trafford Estates have also given us permission to upgrade the ground it means that should we be lucky enough to win our league it would give us the opportunity, if we so choose, to move up to a higher league.

'I would like to give special thanks to Michael Trafford, Jim Papworth and Charles Birch, of Trafford Estates, for their continuing support of the club.'

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Mr Cooke said the security obtained from a lease extension was key to the club accessing grants from bodies such as the Football Foundation for essential improvements costing up to �60,000.

He said: 'To go up a league we will have to increase the size of our stand to provide cover for 150 people instead of the present 100; we will also need to install turnstiles, put fencing around the ground and build a new medical room, tea room and outside toilets.'