MINISTERS have handed £1m of government 'levelling up' funding to Bury FC campaigners to help buy up Gigg Lane.

Announcing the award, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State says the collapse of The Shakers in 2019 was a "stain on English football".

The Bury Times revealed last night that a revised bid had been lodged by Bury FC Supporters Society, otherwise known as Forever Bury, with the Community Ownership Fund, to secure the historic ground's future.

And now Mr Gove has confirmed the supporters collective has been successful, as campaigners look to bring football back to Gigg Lane for the 2022-23 season.

Mr Gove said: "“The collapse of Bury FC is a stain on English football and the result of the game being ripped out of the hands of the supporters and communities who made it what it is by big business and corporate interest.

“I pay enormous tribute to Bury’s supporters, who have shown incredible resolve in their fight to bring their beloved club back to life.

"By helping rescue the historic Gigg Lane stadium, we are helping to put power back into their hands and securing a cherished asset for the wider community.

“As we deliver on our central mission to level up the United Kingdom, we are backing community-led projects that bring people together, restore local pride and benefit towns and cities across the country.”

Gigg Lane is one of the world’s oldest professional football stadiums and has been home to Bury FC since the club’s founding in 1885.

Plans have been drawn up to transform the 12,500 seater ground into an asset for the whole community, with a 3G pitch and community gym, classrooms and health facilities.

Math Pickup, representing Forever Bury and Est 1885, added: "We welcome the news from the Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove, that our combined efforts with Forever Bury to receive the community ownership funding has been successful.

“This funding will allow us the opportunity to complete the purchase of Gigg Lane in order to bring football back to its historic home after a nearly three-year hiatus.

“There are still a few steps left in the process and we hope to provide a further update in the coming days when the legalities have been completed but we thank all the fans for their continued support.

“We would also like to thank James Daly MP, Bury Council, Bury College and the Football Foundation for their support with our application."

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries added: "Football clubs are at the heart of our local communities and the fans are at the centre of our national game.”

 "This is levelling up in action and I very much welcome the Community Ownership Fund’s £1m that will go towards ensuring that Gigg Lane continues to play an integral role in the community.”

 “The fan-led review of football governance looked at ways to stop situations like Bury FC happening again, which is why we’ve endorsed the principle of an independent regulator to take action in this space”

 Fans had been told, according to government sources, that they would need to complete the purchase of the stadium by Christmas in order to prevent it being sold to developers and lost to the community for ever.