For the first time here’s Tony Abbott’s dream of how The Shay could look if he is successful in buying it from Calderdale Council.
The plans include finishing the East Stand, filling in the corners of the ground and redeveloping the Skircoat Stand.
Mr Abbott, who is officially making the bid through the Reactiv Group, said an eight figure sum will be invested in the ground to bring it up to this level.
He plans to build a new Reactiv office, linking the South and East Stands at The Shay, which will create 300 jobs straight away.
“This is not relocating Reactiv’s existing offices,” he said. “This is new office space and new jobs for the people of Calderdale.
“There will also be 50 jobs created within the stadium.”
These jobs will be in the proposed nursery, gym, coffee shop and community classrooms.
“It’s about engagement with the community. We want it to be somewhere that people can come to and be part of it away from matchdays.”
Mr Abbott held an open meeting at The Shay to outline his plans and tackle head-on some of the questions and concerns people have put to him about the bid.
“I’ve had a lot of interaction on social media and a lot of it has been very personal,” he said.
“So I wanted to answer as many of the questions as I could face to face.”
He confirmed that on August 23 he met with the FC Halifax Town board about the proposed bid and said if they had any concerns to come back within a week.
“They never got back to me so I assumed they had no concerns,” he said.
He has promised to supply long term leases for FC Halifax Town and Halifax RL and has vowed that the ground would never be sold to the likes of Tesco.
“This ground will not run at a loss like it is at present. I am a businessman and I want to make money. It will stand on its own two feet.
“I would only ever sell The Shay if it was the right thing for the football and rugby clubs. We have even suggested covenants with the council that will be put in place to protect the clubs’ interests.”
Responding to questions over why he is so desperate to invest in The Shay over other facilities Mr Abbott said he owed something to Calderdale.
“I’ve been in Calderdale since 1994 building up Reactiv. I see a stadium that could be so good for the community and the sporting clubs,” he said.
“Reactiv has got to where it is from a lot of help from the people of Calderdale and this can be about repaying the local community.”