National League North club Kidderminster Harriers are planning to leave Aggborough, their home since 1890, to build a new stadium on the other side of the Worcestershire town.The former Football League club plan to move to a site at Zortech Avenue, close to nearby Stourport, and sell their current home for housing redevelopment.Harriers hope that this will “secure the long-term future of the club”.
They have now submitted proposals to Wyre Forest District Council.The proposed new site, at the end of one of the town’s main industrial estates, would be at the club’s current centre of sporting excellence, where the first team train and where the club’s academy is based.
Aggborough’s best daysMay 1890 – Aggborough is first opened with a single grandstand. In 1935, a new 460-seat grandstand is built, prior to covered areas being added.November 1948 – Record attendance of 9,155 set for an FA Cup first-round replay against Hereford United. September 1955 – Aggborough is the first ground to host a floodlit FA Cup tie, as Harriers beat Brierley Hill Alliance in a preliminary-round replay.The ground was rebuilt in the 1990s, prior to Harriers winning their Conference for the first time in 1994, only for Aggborough to fail to meet Football League standards, despite having hosted sell-out games against Preston and West Ham in Harriers’ march to the FA Cup fifth round- then a shared record for a non-league club.When Harriers won the title again in 2000, the ground was upgraded to Football League standards and a new 2,040-seat stand was built in 2003.Harriers spent five years in the Football League but, other than just missing out on promotion in 2013, their efforts to become a league club have since been hampered by financial difficulties.The ground was also home to Worcester City from 2013 to 2016, has staged England schoolboy internationals and West Bromwich Albion reserve and youth games.We’re sat in the middle of a housing estate”I fully understand and respect that there is a sentiment around Aggborough as a footballing venue,” said Harriers chairman Colin Gordon, the football agent, who has both played for and managed the club. “Its played a big part in my career, both a long time ago and more recently too.”But the simple fact of the matter is that we cannot be at the heart of our community if we’re sat in the middle of a housing estate.”The local population is growing dramatically and we just aren’t physically in the right position to offer what we believe a football club should offer its community.
“On a Saturday afternoon we want the entire area to come and watch an attractive, winning product on the pitch, but from Monday to Friday we want people to come and learn with Kidderminster Harriers; to be educated and taught and to develop. “We want to have artificial pitches that friends and colleagues can use to play football themselves and have the site as a place that acts as a real hub for the community.”That particular part of Kidderminster is statistically deprived in many ways; lower life expectancy, higher instances of crime and even an increased rate of obesity among young people. These are all things that matter to us.”
Source: Worcester News