AN extra £450,000 has been pledged by councillors in Bury towards the revival of Gigg Lane - subject to further talks.

Council bosses have stressed that the new Bury Community Stadium must be built on solid business foundations - to avoid a repeat of the well-documented problems which saw the Shakers drop out of the Football League in August 2019.

Bury FC Supporters Society, aka Forever Bury, secured £1m from the Community Ownership Fund towards reopening the stadium for football, last December.

And the keys to Gigg Lane were handed to representatives of Forever Bury and Est 1885 this week, as part of an emotional return for Shakers fans.

Now a report placed before the borough's cabinet has outlined the council's support for a fan-owned club in future - and for ongoing talks between Forever Bury and Bury AFC over a possible merger.

Council leader Cllr Eamonn O'Brien said the authority wanted to avoid the circumstances where "people who should never have been running a football club, run it into the ground".

He told the meeting that the second factor to take into account was a "one club approach" as the borough, and the authority, could not support two clubs going forward.

"I think every fans accepts, who I have spoken with, that a one club approach is right and we will do every thing we can to facilitate that," Cllr O'Brien added.

The council leader said the third issue was that the £450,000 on offer to the project was public money so there needed to be guarantees over the stability of the scheme and how external funding could be attracted to make the stadium ambitions a reality.

He added: "We have an opportunity to right a historic wrong for our town - and it is very tempting to rush straight in.

"But we have to do the right thing in the right way and this is what this report is all about."

Plans have been drawn up for a community stadium which would include community health and education facilities. Discussions have been ongoing with the Football Foundation over a possible 3G pitch there.

Supporting the plans, Cllr Nicholas Jones, Conservative group leader, said credit should be paid toward Bury North MP James Daly, who had brought former Communities Secretary to the borough as part of the £1m Community Ownership fund bid.

Cllr Michael Powell, Liberal Democrat group leader said "any proposal to return football to Bury is welcome."

Cllr Alan Quinn said Forever Bury and Bury AFC should seek the assistance of "an honest broker" like the Football Supporters Association to help progress discussions between both parties over a potential unification.

He also told the meeting that the council, in a move similar to that of FC United and Manchester City Council, should secure a seat on the board of any revived club.