Spurs step closer to new home

2012-01-31 18:30

London - Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of building a new ground near their existing White Hart Lane home were boosted on Tuesday thanks to a £27 million funding agreement with London Mayor Boris Johnson and Haringey Council.

Premier League highflyers Tottenham have abandoned their controversial challenge to rival London football club West Ham's bid to become the post Games tenants of the 2012 Olympic Stadium in the east of the British capital and have instead reverted to their original Northumberland Development Project plan.

That envisages the club remaining in its original north London home and building a new ground adjacent to White Hart Lane but one with a capacity of 56 000 as opposed to the Lane's relatively modest 36 000.

Johnson has committed £18 million to the regeneration of north Tottenham, an area badly damaged by rioting in disturbances that spread across London and to other major English cities last year, while local authority Haringey has pledged £9 million to new public spaces close to the stadium.

The financial backing comes with Spurs an impressive third in the Premier League and bidding for their first English title in more than 50 years.

"As a major employer and business in the area we are delighted with this commitment from the Mayor and Haringey Council," Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We have long said we could only invest in the area if we could see our commitment supported by others and that there was a real need to maximise the regeneration benefits and lift the wider area.

"We therefore see this as a commitment from the public sector to the Tottenham area and one which strengthens our ability to deliver a new stadium scheme with the potential to kickstart the long-term regeneration of north Tottenham."

David Lammy, the Tottenham MP who has been a leading figure in the campaign for the club to remain in its home area and not move to the Olympic Stadium, welcomed the funding package by saying: "This is excellent news for Tottenham and for the football club.

"After all the twists and turns, this is a special moment for the community and fans that have fought so hard to keep the club in the place where it was born over 100 years ago."