A DREAM is to turn into reality for Beccles Town.
The club are to have a full-size 3G pitch installed at The Nest, their home ground off Common Lane South.
The project has been made possible by a Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund grant of £598,654 towards the overall cost of £770,154.
Plans for a 3G pitch were first mooted in March last year, and club chairman David Leech said the funding had made it possible.
He said: “On a personal level I always thought this project was a step too far for the club but the Football Foundation have made mine and many others dreams come true. Without their support we would have been years raising the money.”
The remainder of the cost has been met by council grants, local charities and through fundraising.
It is hoped to start work next month, and it is envisaged it will take 12-16 weeks to complete, depending on the weather.
David Leech explained what having a 3G facility will mean for the club.
“The 3G will give the club a better chance to provide football for all. It will allow all of our members to get more time doing what they love and also allow us to improve the quality of our grass pitches through pitch management.
“It will also help us attract more members from the surrounding areas as we have amazing facilities to go with our first-class club,” he said.
He paid tribute to the club’s vice-chairman Mark Jermey and his colleagues who have been responsible for bringing the project to fruition.
“The tireless and selfless hours Mark has put in to make this happen has made an impact on so many people. Without Mark this project would never have even got off the ground.
“Also Shaun Solomon (Groundsman) and Paul Barford (Youth Treasurer) have supported Mark through the process using their knowledge and skills they have from their day jobs,” he said.
Mark Jermey said Suffolk FA were very supportive in getting the project off the ground in the early stages.
He added that the 3G pitch will not only benefit the club but also other local football and sports clubs, such as cricket and rugby clubs, as well as schools and scout groups.
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “We are very pleased to hear the news that Beccles Town FC have been awarded a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund to support their 3G project.
“The club have worked very hard over many months to raise funds, co-ordinate plans and gather the support of local organisations for the project to ensure this bid was successful.
“We are confident that the new facility will support their football development outcomes moving forwards and prove to be a key site in utilising football as a tool for increasing activity and engagement.
“Football Foundation artificial grass pitches are a vital vehicle in supporting the local community and enhancing the football experience across all participants. They provide safe, purpose built and professional playing surfaces for all formats of the game and I’m sure the club will maximise this opportunity to develop football in Beccles and further afield.
“We look forward to continuing to support Beccles Town Football Club and the local community to ensure this site supports the growth and sustainability of grassroots football in the local area.”