Canterbury City Council is to fund a full season of community football activities run by Canterbury City Football Club (CCFC).
The council is providing a one-off grant of £25,000 for the 2019/20 season, which will cover the club’s work in disability, youth, ladies’ and walking football.
It follows a recent meeting between council leader, Cllr Rob Thomas, and CCFC chairman, Tim Clark, to discuss ways the council could support the club.
The council also understands that a second planning application by a developer for a scheme at Highland Court Farm in Bridge, which would include a new home for CCFC and Canterbury Rugby Club, will be submitted in due course.
The first application was refused by the council’s Planning Committee earlier this year.
Cllr Thomas said: “Relations between the council and Canterbury City are now much improved compared to a few months ago and our most recent meeting was very constructive.
“We recognise the great work the club does in the community and want that to continue. It’s a packed programme of activities and we’re looking forward to seeing it taking shape over the next few months.”
At its meeting in July, Full Council agreed to establish a district-wide Sports Forum to allow players, clubs, societies, universities, schools and other interested parties to work together to ensure a wide-range of sporting opportunities are accessible to all.
CCFC Chairman Tim Clark said: “Our recent meeting with the city council confirmed a renewed determination to see a return of senior football to Canterbury but there was also a recognition of the challenges the club faces in delivering a full community football programme without our own ground with the income and sponsorship opportunities that would bring.
“This grant is a great boost to the club and we are grateful for the Council’s support as we continue to work with Quinn Estates on a revised planning proposal for Highland Court.”