Beeston FC has been handed a huge boost in its bid to deliver a £500,000 project to renovate the derelict clubhouse at Trent Vale Road Recreation Ground.
The facility, which was originally the home of the Plessey Sports Club in Beeston Rylands, is in a state of disrepair and unusable, except for storage and a couple of toilets.
However, Beeston FC, which provides football for 200 children and young people every week as well as a senior side, has been working with Notts FA and the Football Foundation to bring it back into use.
And today (Friday September 21), the FA and Foundation have given the club the green light to go ahead and seek planning permission for the scheme from Broxtowe Borough Council, with a formal bid for funds to be submitted in January 2019.
Beeston FC will ask the Football Foundation for a grant of up to £500,000 to fund the project and work could start as soon as April next year.
“It’s a big step forward for us,” said Charles Walker, one of the bid team, a parent-volunteer and a Beeston FC coach.
“Lots of people in the club have been working really hard on this, pushing it forwards, and we have great support from Notts FA and the Football Foundation. They are working alongside us to make this happen.
“We still need to raise some match funding but we are in a really good place now and we are going to press on and do this.”
The renovation will see the creation of a high-quality club house, with four changing rooms, reception area, kitchen and large function room. The facilities will be fully accessible to people with mobility issues and the club hopes they will also be used by the wider community.
Beeston FC met with the FA and Football Foundation earlier in the year when they challenged the club to meet various objectives, including the development of girls’ football, fundraising to contribute to the costs of the project and demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity, as well as drawing up detailed plans for the site.
Today’s meeting, attended by club officials, Leroy Payne, Paul Harrison (both pictured), as well as Charles, confirmed excellent progress is being made towards these objectives.
Building plans will be submitted in the coming weeks; 40 girls are playing football at Beeston FC aged 5 to 12 years and the club is working with the inclusivity officer at Notts FA to raise awareness of disability issues.
Club fundraisers have raised thousands of pounds to help pay £10,000 of costs, including architect’s and council fees.
In addition, grant applications have been made and a £100,000 bid to Sport England, in partnership with the Trent Vale Squash Club, Beeston Cycling and Beeston Running Club, is pending.
If the project continues to progress, final approval, including funding, could be achieved in April/May 2019 with work on site commencing very soon afterwards.
Updated 16:04 - 21 Sep 2018 by Charlie Walker