Northampton Borrow A Further £1.5m From The Council

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8 February 2019

Northampton Borough Council has approved plans to lend Northampton Saints £1.5m towards the development of its ground.

The Premiership club's planned upgrades include creating an indoor training building with artificial turf, upgrading its conferencing and catering facilities and making changes to the car park entrance on Weedon Road.

Local eyebrows were raised as the council has lost most of a £10.25m loan to Northampton Town Football Club as a police investigation continues.

The council cabinet member for finance said he was "confident" of repayment from the rugby club.

The loan is expected to provide the council with an income of £90,000 a year and councillor Brandon Eldred told a meeting on Wednesday the loan "made business sense".

"We have learned our lessons from the past with regards to loans," said Mr Eldred, as reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"We have never had any problem with the Saints, but if the impossible does happen we have some backup and security on some of the club assets. But I am fully confident that they will pay the money back."

In a report to Northampton Borough Council's cabinet, chief finance officer Stuart McGregor said immediate action could be taken to recover the funds if the rugby club failed to make payments on this new loan and an existing £5.5m loan.

Mr McGregor added the application had been discussed with auditor KPMG, which investigated the council following its multimillion-pound loan to the Cobblers.

Saints chief executive Mark Darbon told the cabinet

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