HUW Jenkins has made finalising Newport County AFC’s 10-year lease for Rodney Parade a priority after the ‘risk’ of taking over the club without a long-term deal in place.

The Exiles signed a one-year agreement with the Dragons for use of the famous ground shortly before the start of this season.

The board of the club, then Supporters Trust-owned, pushed back negotiating a longer lease while hunting investment because of their financial worries.

Jenkins was given the green light to become majority shareholder at the end of September and the takeover was cleared by the EFL last week.

Now the former Swansea chairman will look to finalise a lease with the Dragons, who bought Rodney Parade from the Welsh Rugby Union last summer.

EFL regulations now require clubs to have a rolling 10-year lease for their stadium with County looking to secure one for the ground they have called home since 2012.

South Wales Argus: PACKED: Rodney Parade for County's game with WrexhamPACKED: Rodney Parade for County's game with Wrexham (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“The feedback I had was that they signed another lease for a year and as and when this process got finalised, we can be in talks to get that [long-term lease] finalised,” said Jenkins.

“We’d like to get a 10-year lease up and running. I initially took the risk, which is quite great, to come into this [takeover] process and not have the 10-year lease in place, so hopefully we can get that done quickly.

“From the initial discussions, very briefly with the Dragons, they are keen to sit down and start negotiating and get it done.”

The Dragons were also taken over last summer with chairman David Buttress buying the club – and the nine-acre site – from the WRU as equal owner with David Wright and Hoyoung Huh.

Sorting a new lease is unlikely to be problematic because both parties are keen to have a close partnership (with link-ups likely) and to join forces when lobbying others, notably Newport City Council, to improve the site.

Jenkins held meetings with the Dragons while putting together his takeover bid and while waiting for EFL approval.

South Wales Argus: DEAL: New County owner Huw JenkinsDEAL: New County owner Huw Jenkins (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“We all agree on the same thing, whether it’s the Dragons or Newport County it’s all good news for Rodney Parade to make sure it runs successfully,” said Jenkins.

“There is a challenge to try to reduce the costs, of running Rodney Parade and the matchday costs associated with both rugby and football.

“We are working hard to find ways to do that together and I think we will try to form any alliances we can to benefit both Newport County and the Dragons going forward.

“I am delighted that we have a good relationship that has started well, my aim is to keep that going and enhance that as much as I can.”

County welcomed more than 9,000 fans to Rodney Parade for the last two weekend with Wrexham followed by Manchester United.

They are unlikely to hit those levels on Saturday but it will still be a be bumper crowd – and packed away end – for the visit of Swindon (kick-off 12.45pm).