In December 2014, Ashton Gate Stadium was successfully registered by the Supporters Club & Trust as an asset of community value under the Localism Act.
Put simply, it means it the owner must not dispose of the freehold or grant a lease of 25 years or more without giving interested local community groups the opportunity to put a bid together. There will be a period of moratorium following receipt of any notice of intent to sell from the owner during which restrictions on disposal will apply.
If upon receiving notification from the council of an intent to sell, and anyone decides they want to submit an expression of interest to bid, the Supporters Club & Trust must respond to the council saying so within six weeks of the date of notification. Otherwise we will not be able to take advantage of the six month moratorium period and the landowner will be free to sell the property on the open market at the end of the interim moratorium period.
So it is not onerous and does not constitute a right to sell to fans. It also does not restrict any future redevelopment. However, we feel that it provides fans with an important safeguard, which we are pleased to have been able to put in place on supporters’ behalf.
And we are in good company. Nearly 30 stadiums up and down the country are now registered in a similar way, including Anfield and Old Trafford.