OXFORD United and Oxford City have put pen to paper on a new partnership which will benefit both clubs – and the county’s wider football scene.

The duo have joined forces to agree a deal which sees them together running a new main pitch at Court Place Farm.

Work has already started on installing a 3G surface, with the project due to be finished a week before the teams meet in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, July 8.

U’s chairman Darryl Eales and City’s director of football Justin Merritt say the deal will be a huge boost, providing both clubs with additional revenue streams.

With United limited by what they can do at the Kassam Stadium, the link-up is likely to see Court Place Farm hosting many events, starting with the U’s AGM tomorrow.

“This is an exciting joint venture for both clubs,” Eales said.

“From our point of view it allows us the commercial and community benefits of working with City to run the first-class facilities which we hope to create there.

“The clubhouse and pitch will be available to both clubs and there are clearly a lot of ways in which the two clubs can work together.”

Merritt added: “It has already created a big buzz around the place.

“We have been working towards getting a new pitch for a while and it’s great we are nearly there.

“We have to thank the council for their help and there are definitely exciting times ahead.”

The new pitch, which will have taken ten weeks to construct, will generate revenue for both clubs.

A new company – the Oxford Football Partnership – has been registered and will run the facility, with Frank Thompson hired to become the stadium manager.

Steve Dolton and Tom Grunwald are listed as the United directors, with Merritt and Paul Lyon representing City.

As well as work on the pitch, the whole complex will be spruced up this summer, including the clubhouse and bar area.

An application has been made to play United’s youth team games there, with a three-year deal already signed to host the club’s women’s team.

Both sides had been previously renting Abingdon United’s Northcourt Road for their home matches.

“There is so much that can be done,” said Merritt.

“As well as United’s youth and women’s matches there are our teams, the community use, our disability section and lots more.

“It’s not just a new pitch, it’s a stadium we have. We can host all sorts of matches there.”

He added: “Although it would not be their main training pitch, it would obviously be there if Oxford United wanted to use it.”

United chairman Eales was keen to emphasise the link-up would be of benefit to both clubs, with each maintaining their own identity.

“It is important to stress that the two clubs will exist side by side,” he said.

“This is not any attempt by us to take over at City or anything like that.

“United and City are independent and we respect the history and tradition of both clubs.

“However the partnership does help City financially at a key time for them.

“We look forward to building a strong relationship which will help both clubs and also helps football across the city of Oxford.”