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FC United targets £1.6 million to help build new football ground

Member-owned football club FC United of Manchester, UK, is planning to build a football ground and community facility in Moston, north Manchester, and is looking to raise £1.6 million of the £4.5 million cost from an innovative community share offer. Raising capital through community shares is a unique development in English football and has been recognised as offering a real alternative to the way football is run and financed and offers genuine social benefits to local communities.

FC United general manager Andy Walsh, said: “When we were granted planning permission last month to build our new ground in Moston, we relaunched our community share scheme that we hope will deliver a significant contribution to the building costs. Last year’s scheme raised a magnificent total of £1.3m which has been safely held in an Escrow account since. We are now aiming to increase that total to £1.6 million by 31 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.”

“By buying shares, investors will be supporting a better way for football to deliver genuine community benefit – one that is owned and run by supporters and committed to wider community and social development and financial sustainability,” said Walsh. “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,” he said. “But it is important that people act now to avoid missing out,” said Walsh.

The FC United 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% on the amount that they purchase in the share scheme.

The FC United of Manchester scheme is one of only ten projects supported by Co-ops UK and central government through the Community Share Scheme, designed to enable co-operative organisations like FC United to raise finance from local communities to support expansion and development much more effectively than through traditional methods such as bank borrowing.

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