Vale Park given community value status: the future of Port Vale’s Vale Park stadium looks secure for the long-term after it was declared an “asset of community value status” by Stoke-on-Trent city council.
The news was announced at a Supporters Club meeting last nigh after the organisation applied to the council for the status. The application was made back in March 2019 when Norman Smurthwaite was still the owner of the club.
The move effectively means that the group must be notified if the ground is put up for sale. Should that happen, the Port Vale Supporters Club would have the right to make their own bid.
Other clubs such as Charlton Athletic have also received the same status for their grounds.
The news will alleviate fears of any future owners separating the club from the ground and trying to sell the stadium to, for example, property developers.
This is unlikely under current owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan but does help calm fears about the long-term future under any potential new owners.
Vale Park given community value status – what does it mean?
An Asset of Community Value (ACV) is land or buildings nominated by a local voluntary or community group and which the council decides meets the requirements to be listed as an asset of community value.
In essence the actual current (or recent past) use of ACVs must further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community. It is also realistic to think that there can continue to be non ancillary use of the land or building that will further the social well being or social interests of the local community.
ACVs can include, for example: day care centres, schools, pubs, open spaces, theatres, civic halls and buildings, heritage sites, football grounds, markets etc.
If the owner of land or buildings that are listed as assets of community value wants to sell them, they must contact the council who will notify the community group that nominated the asset. The community group then has the opportunity to register its interest as a potential bidder, triggering a six month moratorium period during which, subject to certain exceptions, the owner can only sell the asset if it is to a community interest group. After the six month moratorium period the owner can sell to whomever they choose.