Cabinet councillors agreed on June 11th, a recommendation to grant Lewes Football Club a new 25-year lease on its Dripping Pan homeground so the club can move forward with improvement works.
Known as The Rooks, the club has played at the site in Mountfield Road since it was formed in 1885 and is currently in the Isthmian League Premier Division, around 25,000 people attend games there every year.
With its existing lease ending in 2025, Lewes FC requested a new longer lease to attract grant-funding for plans to improve its stadium from sources such as the Football Foundation which requires a long-term interest in property.
Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “We are pleased to recommend granting this new lease to Lewes FC and wish the club well with its renovation plans which will be a boost for supporters and the town as a whole.
“Like so many areas of society, sports clubs are under great pressure due to the Covid-19 restrictions and needs community support now more than ever.”
Lewes FC has changed how it is constituted over the years and is now a mass-ownership Community Benefit Society.
The Dripping Pan forms part of Mountfield Pleasure Ground Trust, of which Lewes District Council is the sole charitable trustee. Full Council will now be asked to make the final decision on the new lease in July.
Three years ago, Lewes FC became the first professional or semi-professional club to pay its women’s team the same as its men’s team.