Revitalisation of football club continues thanks to £90,000 grant

PUBLISHED: 13:04 10 August 2012

Catons Lane

Catons Lane

Archant

WHAT a difference a year makes…12 months ago the country's 19th oldest club was in danger of folding after getting into financial difficulty - now, as excitement builds ahead of the new season, it has received a £90,000 cash injection for new facilities.

Work can finally begin on modernising Saffron Walden Town Football Club’s Catons Lane ground after Uttlesford District Council agreed to release funds from a housing development agreement.

It will see refurbishments carried out on the changing rooms, lighting, officials changing area and physio room.

Repairs will also be completed on the main stand, fencing and car parking, while a new toilet block and boiler will be built.

Chairman Cliff Treadwell told the Reporter he was delighted to hear the improvements could now get under way thanks to the £91,500 grant.

“It is wonderful to be given this money because it will allow us to make a lot of necessary improvements to modernise the ground and create a facility we can all be very proud of,” he said.

“Work will be starting now on refurbishing the changing rooms and carrying out repairs to the roof of the clubhouse and we hope that it will all be complete by April next year.”

Mr Treadwell also spoke of his excitement ahead of the club’s first competitive game of the season at home to Swaffham Town this Saturday.

“This weekend marks the culmination of what we have all been working for and I’m hoping we can begin the season with a big crowd to cheer us on,” he added.

As part of the section 106 agreement for a development on land at Bell College, which had led to the loss of football pitches, money has also been allocated to a number of other organisations in the town after consultation with Sport England.

The Crabtrees facility – soon to be the new home of the town’s ladies football club – has been earmarked for a £30,000 investment so the pitch can be resurfaced and improvements made to the clubhouse.

A further £29,600 will go towards providing an additional two sports pitches next to the existing facility used by Saffron Walden Town Football Club’s junior section.

And Herberts Farm – which has been targeted by vandals in recent months, leading to the urgent action by the district council to release the funds – has also been awarded £100,000 to go towards a project which would see the revitalisation of the clubhouse, changing facilities and grounds. A security fence will also be erected shortly to deter vandals.

Treasurer for the Herberts Farm Saffron Walden Partnership, Paul Broughall, told the Reporter the grant was great news not only for the two football clubs which use it, Spartak and Plantation, but also the wider community.

“We have been looking to improve the facilities because they are quite old and run down.

“The aim is to create something that Saffron Walden can be proud of, not just the two clubs, and we believe it will be one of the key developments for sport in our area,” he said.

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