IN a good weekend for Barnstaple Town on the pitch, the club's future at Mill Road now looks to have been secured following lengthy talks with North Devon Council. The club's management committee had been locked in negotiations with the council for nearly

IN a good weekend for Barnstaple Town on the pitch, the club's future at Mill Road now looks to have been secured following lengthy talks with North Devon Council.The club's management committee had been locked in negotiations with the council for nearly three years. But in a press release issued on Monday, the club announced it had now reached an agreement with the council, in principle, for the issue of a new 25-year lease at the riverside ground.General manager, Doug Green said that at one stage, the committee had been very close to "winding the club up".But following extensive talks to agree a future for the club at Mill Road, he also said the council had agreed to replace the boundary fencing and would put together a further package of help to enable the club to carry out further security and ground improvements."I am grateful to all those people within the council who have made this possible," said Mr Green. "We are now able to move ahead with our plans to re-structure and build a football club that will be the pride of our community."Chairman, Steve James, added: "I am delighted that, after nearly three years of negotiation, we have reached a satisfactory conclusion that will ensure the stability of the club for the future. "Without the support of our local council we would be unable to continue with our plans to develop football within the community. "We have introduced an Under 18s team this season and we hope to further develop this to ensure that our local youth have the opportunity to represent Barnstaple Town Football Club at the highest level."Barnstaple moved to the former "United Services Ground" after the Second World War. Before that, they began their footballing days at Pilton Park in the 1904/05 season. They have also played at the Brunswick Wharf, by the Shapland and Petter site at Anchorwood; at Rock Park; and also at the Old Corona works, Newport.