Gigg Lane deal completes

The sale of Bury FC’s 12,000-capacity stadium has been concluded, paving the way for the return of football to the historic ground.

Steven Wiseglass, a director of Inquesta Corporate Recovery & Insolvency, confirmed the sale of the ground along with other assets, including club memorabilia, goodwill and intellectual property, and the Bury FC name.

These have been acquired by supporters group Est. 1885, which is amid incorporating Gigg Lane Stadium Ltd, a company limited by guarantee whose members are the Gigg Lane Propco Ltd and Bury Football Club Supporters Society Ltd.

In December, it was announced that the purchasing group would be able to access £1m from the government’s Community Ownership Fund to support its bid.

Wiseglass, administrator of The Bury Football Club Company Ltd, said: “We are delighted that this transaction has been successfully completed.

“It is a fantastic outcome for the fans, the club and the whole town, as it will hopefully bring football back to Gigg Lane. My hope all along has always been that Bury FC could be rescued.

“Bury is blessed with a passionate and dedicated group of supporters and we wish them well for the future.”

Wiseglass announced in May 2021 that the 12,000-capacity stadium was being put up for sale.

Gigg Lane is one of the world’s oldest professional football stadiums and has been home to Bury FC since the club was founded in 1885.

Leisure sector specialist Fleurets was appointed as the agent to market the stadium. Bids were received a number from parties in the UK and overseas.

Peter Scholes, associate at Fleurets said: “It was no surprise the sales process saw strong competition from a range of parties and we wish the purchaser all the very best in bringing football back to Gigg Lane.”

Wiseglass said The Bury Football Club Company Ltd remains in administration and that Inquesta is continuing with investigations into the company.

The club were expelled from the Football League in August 2019 under the stewardship of Steve Dale.

Phoenix club Bury AFC was then formed a few months later by supporters and, playing home games at Radcliffe FC, is looking to work its way up the non-league pyramid, currently sitting atop the North West Counties League First Division.

A statement on the website of Est. 1855 said that the ground is in better condition than expected, and more than 500 people have signed up as volunteers to aid with the ground’s refurbishment.

The group added: “We remain fully committed to finding a consensual path with Bury AFC and will be restarting these discussions.”

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