Update from Finance Director Suzanne Kidd
At its latest meeting, the CUFC 1921 Ltd Board of Directors board was informed that the developer with whom we have been in discussions regarding the Blue Yonder project had requested an extension of either six or 12 months to the non-disclosure and 'lock-out' agreement which was due to expire in November 2015. Paperwork regarding this is due to be received by the club shortly.
From the club's point of view, the extension would keep open our options regarding a possible move to a new all-seater stadium in the city. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that the club is going to leave Brunton Park. That point for that decision would still be some way off.
But we are encouraged by the fact that the developer has come to us and asked for up to another year to continue its progress, as opposed to saying it did not wish to carry on trying to find a way to put together a self-financing plan for a new stadium within the city as part of a major retail-led development project.
The board would like to stress that, since the feasibility study in 2011, there has not been any cost whatsoever to the club, and no costs will be incurred should there be an extension to the date. It would simply enable the developer to continue its work. Any costs will be picked up by the developer.
Furthermore, an extension would not preclude any investor in the club - or indeed new owner - from carrying out any work at Brunton Park in the meantime as Blue Yonder could take many years to implement, way beyond the next 12-month period. As always, we remain interested in any possible stadium development or improvement of facilities if it would be of benefit to the club and Carlisle United supporters.
The board meeting was attended by myself and fellow directors, including the fans' representative. The relevant paperwork is now with lawyers and will be presented to the board at our next meeting for final approval.
We would also add that should the extension be agreed, we will look to measure tangible progress made during that period and we would hope to have a definite direction, before the end of the extension period, as to whether a new development is viable, and that there is support for it from the local council, retailers and other stakeholders - or whether we will need to revisit the redevelopment of Brunton Park.