BRIDGWATER Town Football Club has agreed a deal to purchase its stadium, in a move that will see the club own its own ground for the first time in 38 years.

The club is based at Fairfax Park, off Bath Road, but a lot of the infrastructure at the ground has become out of date since it was put up in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Some, largely cosmetic, changes have already taken place at the ground, but owning the stadium allows for more significant redevelopment, including the replacement of the clubhouse and changing rooms.

This latest announcement follows the news that the club plans to launch a youth academy later this year, as part of big changes that have followed the arrival of Adam Murry, the former co-owner of AFC Bournemouth.

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Mr Murry led the financial rescue of Bournemouth after the club was placed in administration, and in 2009 he appointed Eddie Howe as manager, who oversaw the team’s rise from the foot of League Two to the heights of the Premier League.

Since then, Mr Murry has taken over Yeovil United (formerly Yeovil Town Ladies/Women), who train at Bridgwater & Taunton College, and last year he was on the lookout for a new club with the potential to make progress.

Now Bridgwater Town’s owner and chief executive, Mr Murry commented: “It is a massive step forward for Bridgwater Town FC to finally secure its own stadium, and an important part of the vision we have, that will further develop our plans into making BTFC a club that’s at the very heart of the community.

“What we have planned will engage and benefit the town as a whole and we intend to announce the vision and positive initiatives we are intending to deliver in upcoming weeks.

“Not only will our vision strengthen our structure of football within the club, from the first team through to our youngest academy players, it will provide and facilitate many parts of the community engagement we have planned.”

Club chairman Bob Buckingham added: “Securing ownership of our stadium is a pivotal and very exciting moment, as we start a transformational journey that will herald multiple developments for our club both on and off the field.”

Tim Mander, from Sedgemoor District Council, said: “We have been delighted to be able to agree a deal to dispose of the freehold of Fairfax Park to Bridgwater Town Football Club Ltd, to help ensure that the club could continue its ambitious development plans.

“There are clearly exciting times ahead for Bridgwater Town, and the District Council will continue to offer its help and assistance working with the club to ensure that the proposed community trust comes to fruition.”