Sports minister urges Spurs to accept £17m offer

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Sports Minister Hugh Robertson hopes Tottenham will commit themselves to staying in Haringey

London Mayor Boris Johnson has offered Spurs a £17million take it-or-leave-it offer which he hopes will be enough to persuade the club to take up the Northumberland Development Project (NDP).

Tottenham insist there is still a long way to go before they commit themselves to staying in the north London borough.

However, Robertson said on Thursday night: “They’ve had a very good and final offer from the Mayor…of help to redevelop in Tottenham.

“The chairman of Tottenham (Daniel Levy) has very encouragingly said it’s their intention to stay in Tottenham, to redevelop and to help the local community after the riots in the summer.”

The NDP idea involves Spurs moving in to a 56,000-seater stadium on a site adjacent to their current White Hart Lane home in Haringey which holds just 36,000.

Levy insisted last year the NDP was no longer viable and decided to instead pursue plans to move to the Olympic Stadium.

Tottenham lost the contest for the Stratford venue to West Ham and they are now looking at ways to revive the NDP despite simultaneously challenging the decision to hand the Hammers the keys to the Olympic showpiece.

Robertson added on ITV London Tonight: “There is no reason whatsoever to keep that judicial review in place.

“Spurs is a big London club. It’s been a big supporter of London. I’m sure it will want to do that. I very much hope they’d want to remove that judicial review as soon as possible.”

Johnson has committed the £17million package to help fund the transport and redevelopment plans for the NDP.

However, having spent £85million of their own money on the project so far, Spurs are reluctant to undertake the project without more discussions with local and central government.

Levy said in a statement: “It would be wholly irresponsible of us to announce we were proceeding with the scheme without the appropriate agreements and support firmly in place.

“Discussions are continuing with all the relevant stakeholders and we shall, as always, keep our supporters updated.”

Levy is worried the riots in Tottenham will make the planned regeneration of the area, one of the most deprived in the capital, less appealing.

He added: “We are the major employer and economic driver in the area and are now the only major private sector business here that is looking to invest and play its part in the regeneration of an area which has suffered from decades of under-investment.

“Given recent events, Tottenham needs our concerted efforts to reverse the decline of decades and create a community with hope and prospects of future prosperity.

“Both local and national government now recognise the important role our new stadium development can play in kick-starting this.

“The proposed stadium scheme and wider area development has the potential to lever hundreds of millions of pounds worth of much-needed regenerative development to Tottenham.

“But we cannot be expected to do this single-handedly.

“We have seen land values fall again post the recent riots and this is a further concern for the club as it considers the nature of the investment.

“The overall scheme requires a complex package of financing of which the correct level and nature of public support is critical.”

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