TRUST STFC have revealed they have had the County Ground listed as an Asset of Community Value, insisting they remain committed to their own plan to purchase Swindon Town's home.

The supporters' group are standing by their attempt to buy the freehold on the stadium despite Town chairman Lee Power revealing last Saturday that the club's own bid for the freehold, in partnership with Australian company Axis, had met the valuation of Swindon Borough Council.

Both bids are now being considered by the local authority, while the Trust will also hold an annual meeting on March 21 at an as-yet undecided venue, at which they will further update supporters on the progress of their own proposal.

In the meantime, the Trust's nomination of the County Ground as an Asset of Community Value means that should the asset owner - in this case the council - decide to sell, it cannot be sold or developed until any community group has had a six-week period in which to express interest in buying it, after which a further four and a half month pause allows funds to be raised.

The County Ground's listing runs until next January, with the Trust also intending to seek its re-listing after that.

The Trust first submitted an offer and bid outline to the council last August, having carried out a period of due diligence and subsequently submitted a revised proposal and increased offer after the authority undertook an up-to-date valuation of stadium.

They insist they have plans to "upgrade the ground over time, undertake urgent repairs and plan for a sustainable economic future.''

Trust chair Steve Mytton said: “We remain owner-neutral as we have always been throughout this process.

"We are proud of our own bid which is clear, transparent and viable.

“We are, however, willing to work in partnership with anyone who is also interested in owning the County Ground.

“Our plan is to secure the long-term stability and sustainability of the club and the stadium – this is our priority.

“We must avoid a scenario like the one which has emerged just down the road at Oxford with the Kassam Stadium, where the owner is in dispute with the local authority around the site and the council has made efforts to buy back the stadium which have, to date, been unsuccessful.''

Vice-chairman Rob Angus added: "“We have secured substantial financial backing for our bid and we have committed funding in place ready to go.

"We are fully committed to using any rental income to the benefit of the club. This could include stadium improvements including dilapidations.

“It’s clear some areas of the ground are not in great condition and we would also be willing to work with the club – or any other third party - on these matters.”

He added: “Our legacy speaks for itself. We are here for the long term, any stadium redevelopment will happen over years – and we will be here to see it through.

"It’s not all about one person. We are also established on a not-for-profit basis and any monies will be reinvested back into making the stadium and the club healthy.”

Power said of the club's own bid last week: “The council told us what the valuation was, we have met that valuation and we look forward to hopefully purchasing the stadium soon.

“We have got plans in place and we have shown the council. We will go back to the council again in March and have another meeting and present those proposals to them.''

The club has not yet responded to an Adver invitation for an interview to expand on its County Ground plans.