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Badgers Hill site now owned by the community of Frome

Frome Town Community Benefit Society and Frome Town Council are delighted to confirm that as of August 3rd the Badgers Hill stadium at Berkley Road is now owned by the community following the transfer of the site from Frome Town Holdings Ltd to Frome Town Council. At the same time FTC issued a 25-year lease to Frome Town Community Benefit Society (FTCBS) who will run and manage the site.  The FTCBS have issued a licence to Frome Town AFC to secure Badgers Hill as the continuing home of Frome Town Robins. Whilst seemingly complicated, this means that this fantastic community resource will be retained for the community of Frome.

The site faced imminent closure at the end of last year as the owners were unable to repay loans secured against the site. Frome Town Council paid off the lender to allow time to explore community ownership in exchange for the option to acquire the site. And to “save the important community asset for the sporting, social, cultural, environmental and economic value it brings to the Frome community.” 

Following a well-attended public meeting in October 2022, the Frome Town Community Benefit Society was formed to pave the path to community ownership.  The focus is now on securing funding for repairs and improvements to the ground and the FTCBS with assistance from Frome Town Council has submitted grant applications which, if successful, will result in around £500,000 being available to invest in the site. Added to the investment already made by Frome Town Council, this would represent a huge boost for both sport in the town and the wider community of Frome.

Andrew Carpenter, Chair of the Frome Town Community Benefit Society said: “Understandably we are delighted – but there is much to do. Now our priority must be to plan improvements. But it is not all about football – we need to make sure that this site – one of Frome’s largest venues – is open and accessible to the rest of the wider community. We have achieved a lot in a brief period of time, but we will need the help of even more passionate volunteers to help us along the way as members and directors of Frome Town CBS.”

Leader of the Council Lisa Merryweather said: “This is an extremely exciting time for the Badgers Hill site, the tenants and indeed the residents of Frome. Community ownership of the site will help ensure that the facility is preserved for the wider community for years to come. It is also an endorsement of the amount of resource and work that has already been put into the project by the newly formed Frome Town Community Benefit Society, Frome Town Council, and our partners at the football club. Well done to all concerned, but this is where the challenging work really starts.” 

Football Club Chair Derek Graham says: “This is fantastic news – and exciting times ahead. It really helps secure the foundations of the Football Club. Our thanks must go to the Frome Town Community Benefit Society, Frome Town Council staff and councillors, especially Lead Councillor on this project Mel Usher, and Andy Walsh from the Football Supporters Association for working so tirelessly to support this project. This will allow the club to focus on what it does best, which is football!” 

The aspirations of the FTCBS include not only improving the site but also community and sporting partnerships around venue use, a commitment to a community ticket scheme and funded activities for disadvantaged groups. So, exciting times ahead. 

If you want to follow the news, get involved or find out about how you can become a member follow the story at the Badgers Hill News website and across the football club’s channels.  If you would like to use your skills in communications or fundraising, they have two vacancies on the board of the CBS which may interest you. Get in touch with Andrew Carpenter via email.

A combined statement from Frome Town Community Benefit Society, Frome Town Council and Frome Town AFC. 

Cllr Lisa Merryweather, Derek Graham and Andrew Carpenter
10 August 2023
Last Updated
11 August 2023
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