JAMES Frith is calling on the town to come together to secure the future of Gigg Lane. 

The Bury North MP is in dialogue with Capital Bridge Finance, holders of a mortgage on the ground, believed to total £3.8million.

Frith believes he is making progress when it comes to potentially striking a deal but knows the days of a “football godmother” saving The Shakers’ home of 1885, are long gone.

He is working to bring interested parties together as momentum gathers behind a phoenix club emerging in non-league next season.

“I’ve had conversations with Capital Bridge Finance and where we’re heading with that is to get to a point where we understand the price for the ground and then build a consortium effort cross-community,” Frith said. 

“That involves the combined authority, it involves Bury council, it involves some of the bigger individuals and businesses of Bury as a town.

“But it also needs to involve the supporters’ trust and the wider football family in Bury.

“It isn’t enough to think of a football godmother that is going to come in and save us.

“There is no one single body or entity, it’s a collective effort in the same way that we’re collectively grieving for the state of the club.

“We’ve got to rescue this together and I think if we can understand how much we need to get Gigg Lane and rise again as a phoenix club when the club goes into the liquidation then that has to be the best effort.”

Frith insists he is under no illusions about the task at hand but with another meeting scheduled with the Football Association for tomorrow (November 1) he is keen to present a new-look football club to the authorities.

The MP has already held talks with interested parties about Gigg Lane being used for more than just football in the years to come. 

“Raising the money is going to take some doing but I need to get to a point with Capital Bridge Financing where I can go public so that we can get behind a target and begin to raise that money,” he said.

“I’ve had a conversation with the chief executive of the NHS for Bury, he’s interested in where we might put a health clinic on the park.

“We’ve got to get creative with how we use this.

“If we go in at Northern Premier League level with mitigation from the FA we won’t need the size of ground we’ve currently got.

“How can we best use the infamous car parking spaces?

“How can we ensure that the social club is well supported?

“How can we use the FA’s commitment to youth and engagement in girls’ and women’s football, both of which have suffered hugely?

“We’re going make an appeal but we’re also proposing to the FA to be a blueprint of a community club and come back that way.

“It’s from necessity but it’s also seeing the upside of it.

“The community will determine the future of Bury FC and it only dies if we walk away and we’re not walking away.”

Frith was in Bury last week with Damian Collins MP, chair of the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee that is looking at the Shakers’ crisis and the current state of football governance.

Having quizzed the EFL, FA and others, Collins met with fans and those involved in the organisation of a phoenix club during his trip north.

The FA are keen that one voice is heard when it comes to Bury’s potential re-entry into the football pyramid next season, something that is also forming part of Frith’s work.

“We’re well engaged with the Football Association who I couldn’t fault in terms of the people we’ve been dealing with,” he said. “There’s a sequence of events that need to happen including the rescue board I set up coming in alongside the phoenix operation and Forever Bury and we’ll work towards one single objective.

“The FA ask that we avoid, as they put it, ‘many country lanes’ and we have one single route of contact with the FA and that work is going on ahead of a meeting with them on November 1.”