School plan could bring Blues home

Grays Athletic have renewed hope of returning home after seven years after plans for a new school lifted the spirits of fans, players and officials following their relegation from the Ryman League's top flight.

Thanks to plans for a new free school, the Blues are set to open talks after Easter to end their exile since 2010 when the lease expired on their old Recreation Ground after 114 years following their relegation from the National League.

On the road since and currently playing home games at Aveley's Mill Field, they've been given fresh hope ahead of elections in May for their new board after the South West Essex Community Education Trust was given the green light to build the Orsett Heath Academy with the potential to incorporate sporting facilities to house the Blues.

The school is expected to open in September 2019 and the Essex club are now looking forward to holding the first discussions with the relevant stakeholders.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Grays Athletic Football Club welcome the recent confirmation that the SWECET application to build a new free school has been approved.

"We would like to pass on our congratulations to all involved and wish the Trust all the very best with the development of Orsett Heath Academy. We are sure that this new facility will be a fantastic new asset to the community.

“As documented in the SWECET brochure that explained their proposal, the possibility of Grays Athletic Football Club being part of the development at the proposed site, as part of a sports hub, has been discussed with the Local Authority and SWECET.

“Following this significant announcement from Government, the club looks forward to meeting with the key people involved after the Easter break to further those discussions. A further statement will follow from the club in due course.”

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