Local MP Rory Stewart has welcomed an agreement between Penrith AFC and Eden District Council, which will see the club sign a 25-year lease on Frenchfield Stadium, providing them with the security of tenancy required to bid for funding and ensure their long-term viability. Rory Stewart has worked closely with the club over the past 4 years, holding numerous meetings with club representatives and officials at EDC, in order to resolve a long-standing dispute between the two over the responsibility for meeting repair and maintenance costs, as well as necessary remedial work to the ground, and an agreed rental sum. At the meeting on 18th September, all points of contention were addressed, and club secretary Ian White said it would allow the club ‘to look to the future, rather than delving into the past.’

Rory Stewart MP said: “After countless meetings, negotiations and proposals, I am delighted we have finally reached an agreement both the club and EDC have felt able to accept. We now have a lease which will allow Penrith AFC to turn its attention and energy back towards football itself and supporting and encouraging Penrith’s young people to play and enjoy the sport. This agreement has required flexibility and compromise on both sides, and it is a credit to everyone involved that we have managed to make this work.

Eden District Council’s Leader Cllr Gordon Nicolson, OBE, said: “Over the last two months we have had very productive meetings with Penrith AFC and they have confirmed that the terms we are offering are acceptable to them. There has been a lot of compromise on both sides, but we have reached an agreement that the Club has accepted. These have now been approved by full Council. We hope that the Club will continue to be part of Eden’s sporting landscape.”

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