The Dale Trust – the supporters trust at Rochdale AFC – has applied to the Community Ownership Fund launched by the government as part of its levelling up project.
If successful, the trust will be given match funding for its plan to purchase the playing surface at Rochdale’s home ground, the Crown Oil Arena, putting it into the ownership of the Trust. It would then lease the pitch back to the club, and would not be responsible for the cost of any pitch works.
“In doing so,” says the Dale Trust, “this would provide security over the future of the Crown Oil Arena, protecting it in the long term from anyone who may have ulterior motives.
“It would protect the playing future of both Dale and Hornets, and play a huge part in safeguarding the very many community activities that are carried our by the Dale Community Trust both at the ground and throughout the borough of Rochdale.
“Should this be successful and the Crown Oil Arena playing surface taken into the ownership of the Trust, this would provide significant funds to the Football Club.”
The idea is still in the planning stage, the trust adds, and if the bid succeeds it will survey members to see if they want to pursue the project.