Oxford United’s new stadium moves a step closer

Oxford United has signed a legally binding lease option with Oxfordshire County Council for land known as The Triangle, as well as completing a community collaboration agreement.

The EFL League One club said it follows the news last month that heads of terms had been agreed following detailed negotiations.

The completion of the contracts represents a significant step forward in securing Oxford United a long-term home in the county and the future of the 131-year-old football club.

Earlier this year an application was submitted to build a new, modern, eco-friendly, 16,000-capacity stadium. The club will be able to fully exercise the 250-year lease once planning permission has been obtained from Cherwell District Council for the development.

The lease option agreement includes provisions to ensure Oxford United’s right to play at the stadium is secured, along with safeguards on rent and use of facilities.

The community collaboration agreement formalises the club’s commitment to social, environmental and economic benefits for the community, as outlined in the seven strategic priorities set by the council.

The strategic priorities include improving public transport and achieving a net-zero development. Oxford United has also committed to the production of a Net Zero Plan in line with the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.

Grant Ferguson, Chairman of Oxford United, said:

This is a major step-forward in our exciting stadium development plans and for the long-term sustainability of the club. On behalf of the club, I’d like to extend a thank you to our stadium project team, to all our supporters and to Oxfordshire County Council.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with key stakeholders to bring our vision to reality.

Jon Clarke, Development Director, added:

From the outset the club has sought to create a stadium and venue that protects the long-term future of Oxford United and delivers significant benefits to the wider community.

The signing of this lease option is a major milestone and allows us to fully focus on obtaining planning. The project team has worked tirelessly for over three years to get us to this point – we can now move forward with certainty and confidence knowing we have secured the land deal.

The planning proposal submitted presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide a new home for sport, entertainment, business, community, education and tourism which the whole county can be proud of, the club said.

The design includes a 180-bed hotel, conference and event space, along with a health and wellbeing centre, to help deliver significant economic and social benefits to Oxfordshire.

The visitor experience, inclusivity and sustainability have been placed at the heart of the design. It would be the first all-electric stadium in the UK and includes a safe standing allocation, sensory room, 130 wheelchair spaces and wellbeing gardens.

AFL Architects is leading the stadium design, with Ridge and Partners LLP, Mott MacDonald and Fabrik among the project team.

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