Chesterfield FC have moved a step closer to gaining their new home. For the ten-acre plot of land on which it is planned to build the 10,500-seater stadium has been handed over to the football club.
Construction company Wilson Boden Developments, who the acquired the former Dema Glass site for development, made the presentation to Blues chairman Barrie Hubbard this week.
Mr Hubbard, said: ''Transferring over the land for our new football stadium is another significant step forward for Chesterfield FC and its supporters. We very much appreciate the crucial support from the East Midlands Development Agency, which has made this possible. After all these years we are now within sight of our end goal and look forward to finalising everything so building work on our new football stadium can commence."
The hand-over is viewed as the most important milestone in the club's journey from Saltergate to Whittington Moor since planning permission for the project was given the green light six months ago.
Chesterfield would like to kick off the 2010/11 season at their new home and taking control of the land, opposite the fire station on the old A61, will allow the club to make the final preparations before building work on the stadium begins.
Mr Hubbard told shareholders at the club's AGM last month that the projected cost was 13m and that the Blues had funding of 12m. He also said he had 'full commitment' from an investor, who currently wished to remain anonymous, who wanted to buy 4m shares.
It is thought that building work cannot begin until the mystery investor reveals himself, a move which is expected to take place near the end of March or early in April.
The new man will become the major shareholder while Mr Hubbard will remain in control of the levers of power as club chairman.
The Blues, in association with the East Midland Development Agency, have already spent 500,000 on preparation work at the former Dema site, where a drain and an electric cable have been relocated.
The other part of the site has been bought by supermarket giant Tesco and work began this week on preparations for the construction of a new superstore.
The schedule for the new ground involves a 50-week building programme, which means work will have to begin in July at the latest if the Blues are to kick off the 2010/11 season at their new all-seater ground.
After the switch has been made, the existing Saltergate ground – which has been the club's home since the early 1870s – will be bulldozed and the land used for housebuilding.