Former Boston United football ground and iconic Gliderdrome are up for sale

A five-acre town centre site incorporating the Gliderdrome and former Boston United football ground, has attracted interest from city investors.

The site of the former football ground, marked in red, with the Gliderdrome building next to it.
The site of the former football ground, marked in red, with the Gliderdrome building next to it.

Potential buyers from London and Birmingham have already been up to visit the sites, which are listed for combined sale at offers around £5million.

The former Boston United ground has been dormant since the club moved to its new purpose-built stadium at the Quadrant. It had been at its old York Street site since 1933, although its history as a football ground goes back even further.

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Readers who have spotted the Gliderdrome is for sale online, have expressed concern that Boston could lose its historic music venue.

The Gliderdrome will remain as an entertainment for the town.

But the Standard has been assured that the iconic Gliderdrome will remain as an entertainment venue for the town.

James Fairman, from Poyntons, which is handling the sale, said: “The Gliderdrome will have to stay as a leisure venue. It is a listed building, and protected by English Heritage so not much can be changed.

"But we’ve certainly had a lot of interest in the sites.

"Developers from London and Birmingham have visited the site with a mixture of ideas about how to develop it, from housing and care homes to leisure and retail warehouses."It will ultimately see a more effective use of the land for the benefit of Boston.

The car park area of the former Boston United football ground.

"It is a particularly large brownfield site in the centre of the town, with lots of space there. Town centre sites tend to be restricted by size, but this is quite a large area next to John Adam’s Way, so there’s been a lot of interest in it.”

In its market listing, Poyntons notes that some ‘36,000 cars pass the site every day’ via John Adams Way.

Its description of the overall site reads: “The site comprises a commercial bingo hall, a dance hall, nightclub and former football ground of Boston United FC.

“In addition are disused residential properties and some older warehouses.

"The football club occupies the eastern side of the site and comprises four main stands, with an extensive administration accommodation, sports bar and ancillary areas.”

The Gliderdrome’s iconic Starlight Room is a historic Grade II Listed music venue frequented by world famous music acts over the years – including Elton John, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner and T-Rex.

It is still used as a music venue, hosting popular music events which still attract well-known bands and artists including the Levellers, Scouting for Girls and Frank Turner.

Mr Fairman said the football and Glider sites can be sold separately is necessary.

Andrew Malkinson, co partner at the Gliderdrome, offered reassurance about the sale: “I’ve been busy booking bands for next year, so it’s business as usual for us.”

Mr Malkinson said the Gliderdrome has been for sale through different agents for the past 20 years, but only saw its Starlight Room awarded a Grade II listing a few months ago.

"This means it is now afforded some level of protection from future redevelopment, although certain refurbishment works to improve the facility can still take place.

"The football ground is sat there doing nothing, and various situations for its redevelopment are possible,” added Mr Malkinson.

“If it became the site for a care home, the people there wouldn’t have far to go if they wanted to see our over 60s shows or join in the bingo at the Glider,” he joked.