FC United close in on £1.6m stadium fund target

Fan-owned FC United of Manchester has asked its supporters to dig deep this Christmas to raise more funds for the club’s new ground and community facility. FCUM followers have already raised a remarkable £1.3m and the club hope this can reach £1.6m by the 31st December deadline.

The FCUM Community Share Scheme is a unique venture among sports clubs and one of only 10 such projects from any industry. It is backed by Co-Operatives UK and central government. The aim of these projects is to engage communities and encourage them to invest in themslevs, rather than rely on private sector backing or wealthy individuals.

FCUM plans to build a football ground and community facility in Moston, north Manchester, and hopes to raise £1.6m of the £4.5m total cost from the Community Share Scheme. The club says that raising capital through community shares offers a real alternative with genuine social benefits to the current model of private or PLC ownership.

The club first launched the Community Share Scheme in 2010. The decision to relaunch came after planning permission on the new stadium in Moston was granted by Manchester City Council’s planning department in October 2011.

FCUM general manager Andy Walsh, said: “Last year’s scheme raised a magnificent £1.3m. We are now aiming to increase that total to £1.6m by 31st December 2011 and we are asking anyone who shares our vision of bringing football back to local communities to back us by investing in community shares.

“Investors will be supporting a better way for football to deliver genuine community benefits – one that is owned and run by supporters and committed to wider community and social development and financial sustainability. Our groundbreaking development will create a positive and lasting legacy in Moston, creating new sports and non-sports facilities for the area for generations to come. But it is important that people act now to avoid missing out,” said Walsh.

The FCUM Community Share Scheme has a minimum share purchase of £200. The share issue has been given advance approval by the HMRC Enterprise Investment Scheme and subject to personal circumstances this allows individuals to claim tax relief of up to 30 per cent on the amount that they purchase.

  • Full details of the scheme including all documentation, the offer documents, and a summary business and community use plan for FC United’s community football ground in Moston are available online: www.fc-utd.co.uk/communityshares

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