The Shay Stadium has been recognised as an Asset of Community Value by Calderdale Council.
An application was submitted by Halifax Town Supporters’ Trust in light of a proposed bid for the stadium from Reactiv Media.
The ACV application has now been ratified by councillors who are insistent that no decision has been made to sell The Shay.
Calderdale Council’s leader, Coun Tim Swift, said: “The council has confirmed that the Shay Stadium is an Asset of Community Value. This follows a nomination from the Halifax Town Supporters Trust under the Localism Act 2011.
“The purpose of this legislation is to give communities a right to identify property that’s believed to further their social interests or social wellbeing and nominate the property to be placed on the council’s list of Assets of Community Value. The listing gives community groups an opportunity to bid to buy the property on the open market. This opportunity is triggered if the owner of the property formally confirms an intention to sell.
“Whilst the council has not made any decision to sell the Shay, we have confirmed that there will be no objection to the listing in our capacity as landowner.”
Trust spokesperson Gavin Butler said: “Having the Shay listed as an Asset of Community Value reaffirms the trusts view that the Shay is at the heart of the sporting community in Calderdale and as such should be recognised as an Asset of Community Value.”
Kevin Rye, spokesman for Supporters Direct, the governing body for supporters’ trusts, said “Halifax Town Supporters Trust should be congratulated in their work to make sure that The Shay takes its place alongside Old Trafford and Anfield, and the first two, Oxford United and Nuneaton Town, in having stadia successfully listed.
“We are seeing this trend escalate, and many more applications are being lodged from across football – and interest coming from other sports.
“This and all other successful listings are demonstrating that our view that clubs and their stadiums should be seen as community assets and not simply as part of an investment portfolio is being widely accepted.”
The granting of the ACV does not guarantee a block on any potential sale of the Shay but should Calderdale Council decide to sell the Shay it gives community groups a period of up to six months to prepare a potential bid.
In terms of the potential sale of the Shay Gavin Butler said: “The trust is opposed to private ownership of the Shay and believes it should remain with the council. Whilst the granting of the ACV is a step forward in recognising the Shay stadium’s importance to the local community we recognise that it is not an ultimate safeguard against a potential sale.
“However and most importantly it will bring transparency to any decision by the council to sell the Shay and allow time for other options to be considered other than a sale to a private owner.”