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Gillingham chairman Brad Galinson says Mill Hill location remains an option for when time is right to leave Priestfield Stadium

Gillingham chairman Brad Galinson admits the site of a potential new stadium picked by their former owner remains appealing.

Moving is not a top priority for the Gills at present, they are happy to continue at Priestfield while they attempt to climb their way out of the lower leagues, but it’s not an area that Mr Galinson can ignore.

Gillingham won’t be leaving Priestfield Stadium just yet
Gillingham won’t be leaving Priestfield Stadium just yet

Success on the pitch would eventually mean the Gills outgrow their current home and the area near their training ground in Gillingham, known as Mill Hill, remains on their radar.

Former chairman Paul Scally was always keen on a move away from Priestfield, picking the area off Yokosuka Way as a potential new home after other sites such as Temple Marsh in Cuxton over the years proved unattainable.

“A new stadium is a big deal,” said Mr Galinson, a man who has become wealthy off the back of his Florida property business.

“It probably takes two years to build, once you start, and it probably takes at least a year, if not longer, to figure out where, permitting, partners and all that so we definitely are still thinking about those things now for when we have success.

“If you start when you’re in the Championship, you’re literally probably three or four years in, so you have to do this many years in advance.

“It would be for higher league but, again, you have to start when you’re here, with expectations to get to the Championship.”

Gillingham’s Beechings Cross training venue is set to be used to accommodate the new B-team. Picture: Sean Aidan
Gillingham’s Beechings Cross training venue is set to be used to accommodate the new B-team. Picture: Sean Aidan

Mr Galinson was asked about Mill Hill and whether any land was ever purchased.

He said: “Gillingham doesn’t own it but it’s still there, still available, it’s actually owned by a third party. It’s actually a really interesting spot because it’s near the railway station, it’s high up so it’s a pretty area and our training facilities are right there.

“But there’s actually a ton of options and there’s many different ways of looking at that. It could be stadium-only, it could be stadium with a scheme around it, it could be outside where you get a train to go out to an agricultural [area].

“There’s a lot of different ways of doing it. That’s why it takes so long because you have to think of all these things many years in advance, but Mill Hill is definitely one option which is a terrific one if it works out.”

Keeping the council onside is always helpful and Mr Galinson has already met Vince Maple a few times, the new Medway Council leader.

The Gills are also looking for additional land to train on as their Beechings Cross venue will be used to accommodate the new B-team and they will need extra space for their youth sides.

Canterbury remains the club’s main base for their younger age groups, at the University of Kent at Canterbury, with a new deal recently agreed, but a second main venue is also being looked at.

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