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The Hawthorns Football Ground to be listed as an Asset of Community Value

Published 19th January 2023

The Hawthorns Football Ground to be listed as an Asset of Community Value

Following a nomination by the Shareholders for Albion in November 2022, council officers have reviewed the sites against the legal criteria and concluded the Hawthorns Stadium is to be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

The following locations will be listed as part of the ACV.

•    The Hawthorns Stadium and Car Park
•    The former Woodman public house that is now a surfaced car park 
•    The access way that extends between The Hawthorns Stadium and Middlemore Road 
•    A community sports hall building currently used to deliver existing community-based programmes by Albion Foundation plus suitable access arrangements. The remainder of the site relates to the Club Academy.

The application to be listed as an ACV stated:

“WBA Football Club is at the heart of the community and has been the venue which many generations of Albion supporters and Albion-supporting families have attended to support their team.

“Albion are a leading professional football club in the country. It is an institution which the Borough of Sandwell can be proud of and needs to help protect, for current and future generations. The club can be considered to be a cultural asset within the borough and is a famous venue known to football supporters throughout the world.

“The Hawthorns stadium is also important in providing clear economic benefits to the Council’s area.

“It is in the interests of all supporters, the community at large and the Council that The Hawthorns is protected to ensure its longevity as a football club and a community asset.”

Tony McGovern, Director of Regeneration and Growth at Sandwell Council, said: “The stadium is an iconic location in Sandwell and has a long history with the local community that delivers a wide range of social, economic and sporting benefits. In addition, the facility promotes social wellbeing and is a critical part of the identity of the local area. 

“The decision to list the locations as an ACV was because The Hawthorns stadium site currently and historically over many decades has acted as an important asset of community value which delivers significant community benefits in the form of sporting, cultural and recreational activities. 

“There are two elements of the proposal that did not meet the criteria (Greggs Retail outlet and the Club Academy) and so have been excluded from listing as an Asset of Community Value”.

Becoming an ACV means that if an owner of a listed asset wants to sell the asset or grant a lease for 25 years or more, a six-month moratorium period will normally be triggered during which the asset cannot be sold or let. This period gives community groups time to develop a proposal and raise the required capital to bid for the property when it comes onto the open market at the end of the moratorium period. The status of the Stadium as an ACV also has a significance in the planning process.

A landowner can trigger a review about the inclusion of the assets from the list and there is also a process for an appeal to an independent body should the owner decide to do so. 

More information is available here.