HARTLEPOOL UNITED officials, not for the first time over the last few decades, are looking at the future of their home stadium.

The club, under various owners over the years, has long investigated options at Victoria Park.

The most recent attempt to develop the ground and surrounding area, known as The Mill House Masterplan, never took off after being instigated by the council, ex-Mayor Stuart Drummond and former owners IOR in 2012.

Now, The Northern Echo can reveal the club aims to launch a new business plan by the end of the year. Project 25 is aimed at getting the club into League One by 2025 in a newly redeveloped home stadium.

Pools won’t be leaving the current site, but instead looking at the possibility of redeveloping and revamping Victoria Park.

They are currently in mid-table in the National League, but chief executive Mark Maguire hopes the recent appointment of Dave Challinor can push the team towards the promotion places in the table.

This is Pools’ third campaign outside the Football League since relegation and the disastrous financial problems encountered under the regimes of both Gary Coxall and Pam Duxbury.

And, while chairman Raj Singh has steadied both the business and club since his takeover in March 2018, plans are in place to take it on further.

“It’s not some giddy or ridiculous vision of the future,’’ insisted Maguire.

“This is about improving the infrastructure of the stadium, be it a new stadium, new stands or whatever we look into. The idea is to improve the facilities we have got in order to generate new income steams which crate a sustainable business underneath the football side of things.

“Investment and the aim to get to League One by 2025 in pretty much a new stadium.

“It’s something we are exploring because we cannot rely upon commercial income within football. Shirt sponsorships are harder to come by and we see teams giving that up at a higher level – and it’s not done out of the goodness of their heart, it’s because it’s harder to come by.

“We have got to think of new income streams and we have to reinvent the club.’’

The club has long understood and appreciated the role it plays in the town and recently appointed a new director in Andy Steel, the vice principle of the Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Maguire added: “The most important aspect of it will be becoming a community focus. Previous incarnations of a future business model here have been about building new training grounds and aiming too high on the pitch, building houses and selling players.

“This is about solving some of the social-economic issues within the town. We have a responsibility as a club, but by having a new infrastructure at the club a club we then provide a platform for the football side to succeed.

“We are not looking to talk too much about it at this stage, but we want to make a December announcement about it and this is not a White Elephant project, no 30,000 stadium out of town. It’s about staying where we are, building on what we have got and creating something.

“I have spent the best part of 14 months talking to the community and business in the town and looking how we can help to solve problems in Hartlepool. We can’t solve them all ourselves, but we can be at the centre of it and live up to our responsibility in the town.

“You have to set a vision and people may laugh, but it’s important to have a vision and strategy which is achievable and we want to set it out and talk about it properly in the next two months.’’

Pools FA Cup tie at either Exeter or Cambridge - the sides replay on Tuesday evening - will be played on Sunday, December 1 at  2pm.