The Leader of Mole Valley District Council, Stephen Cooksey, requested last week (following discussion with Dorking Wanderers FC) that the freehold sale of Meadowbank Stadium be deferred from the Scrutiny Committee meeting agenda on January 24th to enable Mole Valley District Council time for further consultation. As a result, the club would like to update our supporters and followers on the status of this exciting project.

The club fully supports and respects the decision by Council Members to operate with due diligence and process, given that Meadowbank Stadium is a key community facility of significant local interest. Our support also extends to consideration of all other proposals, including those connected with Surrey County FA.

We have been advised that the subject matter will be back on the agenda for the Scrutiny and Cabinet meetings in March, and we are positive that there will be a successful outcome following these meetings.

As way of a reminder, Dorking Wanderers expressed an interest in purchasing the stadium in March 2022, and an offer for the freehold was subsequently made to Mole Valley District Council. If successful with the purchase the club remains committed to ensuring that leases are both honoured and upheld for both Surrey FA and Soft Play. It’s important to note that even if Dorking Wanderers do own the Meadowbank freehold, Surrey FA retain all rights to their existing lease which crucially includes the management of site bookings. On this note, the club looks forward to working closely with Surrey FA to further enhance community use and the success of the site, whilst also ensuring that bookings are more sociable to support the surrounding residents.

Securing the freehold of the stadium would enable Dorking Wanderers to become more sustainable which is crucial to the club’s long-term objectives. Currently, the club pays in excess of £150,000 a year to Surrey FA for its entire operation, with limited means to maximise on income, which is clearly not a viable or sustainable model. The club currently relies on the help of several local businesses, along with a huge amount of volunteers, who work around the clock to raise funds.

Freehold ownership would significantly increase revenue opportunities, including income from the existing site tenants.

In addition to the above, the club is entirely committed to ensuring that Meadowbank remains at the hub of the community, enabling maximum participation from local schools and youth clubs.