Philanthropy saves Ludlow’s football stadium – it should now become an asset of community value

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After today’s South Shropshire Journal went to press, news broke that Ludlow football stadium has been saved. The Delve family, of Harry Tuffins fame, have stepped in to save the stadium. That’s brilliant news, not only for AFC Ludlow but for the other eighteen teams that play at the stadium.

This is a really good story of modern-day philanthropy. Roy and Ruby Delve have made their money locally out of their Harry Tuffins chain. Now they’re giving money back to the community that shopped in their stores. By stepping in and saving Ludlow football club, they are ensuring the survival of nineteen teams as well as AFC Ludlow. This is great for football and fitness, and great for our community.

I take my hat off to the Delves for stepping in to save one of Ludlow’s essential facilities.

The history, ownership and current situation of this site is complex. I hope that all involved, including the Delves who own the ground, can move towards placing the stadium into a community trust or charity that will alleviate the £16K rates problem.

There was never any intention of putting the stadium up for sale during the current crisis. But it might be wise for Bromfield parish council, with the support of Ludlow town council to get it registered as an asset of community value under the Localism Act. That would mean that, should another crisis occur, the community has the opportunity to step in and buy the site.