Crawley Town chief executive Richard Low said Tuesday’s meeting with Sport England over possible funding for a potential £1.5million training facility had been ‘extremely positive’.
Mr Low, who is looking for money to redevelop the problematic training ground at Bewbush, said: “The meeting was extremely positive and although it’s very early days I have to say from the information I got from Sport England and the Council they are 100 per cent positive about the plans.
“Sport England aren’t the ones who actually hand out funding but they have put me in touch with their partners who do and those who have expertise in building 3G pitches and facilities like this.”
Mr Low outlined the plans at the Fans’ Forum on Monday night, saying he hoped to add two new grass pitches as well as a full-sized indoor pitch to the existing council-owned facility within the next five years at a cost of around £1.5million.
Mr Low emphasised the need for schools and the local community to benefit from the development, and said it was wholly dependent on acquiring the necessary funding, stressing the club would not get into any debt over the project.
Despite moving to Bewbush in July last year Richie Barker’s side continue to have to train at a number of locations in the local area and Mr Low told those at Monday’s Forum: “The plan is to redo it or get out completely.”
In what was his first formal introduction to Reds supporters since taking over from Alan Williams, Mr Low told a packed audience improving the ‘poor’ relationship the club has with its local community and increasing attendances were a top priority.
He also urged fans to do more to welcome new support, saying: “I know it’s a touchy subject but this attitude that new fans are glory hunters concerns me. We need to welcome everyone with open arms.”
Regarding the notoriously problematic Broadfield pitch he confirmed £180,000 would be spent in the summer to improve drainage and relay the top surface.
Rebuilding the youth academy which was scrapped last year, he said, would be expensive, and something the club would not be considering until 2014.