BURY Town hope to start work soon on ground improvements after being awarded a grant of more than £56,000.
The Isthmian League North club have been granted £56,386 by the Football Foundation towards renovations costing a total of £80,551 at the Denny Brothers Stadium.
The grant will enable the club to replace the wooden stand opposite the changing rooms and clubhouse and replace their floodlights which are more than 50 years old.
The wooden stand, which seated 150 spectators on wooden benches, is in disrepair and a new stand with 150 plastic seats will be built in its place, meaning the total seating capacity will remain at 250.
The old stand is pictured in the background above as Bury Town (blue shirts) take on Cambridge City.
The remaining money will come from a mixture of club funds and donations, some of which has already been spent by the club in architect’s fees and planning application fees.
Bury Town Board member Chris Ward, who made the application, said: “We are delighted that the club has been awarded this grant from the Football Foundation.
“In recent years we have improved our facilities greatly with a new clubhouse in 2017 and new changing rooms completed last summer, but we felt that we needed to address some outside areas.
“The current floodlights at Ram Meadow were moved from the club’s former Kings Road ground in 1978, so while the club have made good use of them, they are now over 50 years old and in need of replacing.
“The new stand will offer much more comfort to our supporters, and also offer a covered accessible area for wheelchair users and seating for careers which is something we lack at the moment.
“The stand will be designed to be extended or even moved to a new location in the future, if needed.
“On behalf of the club we would like to thank Jill Korwin and the team at West Suffolk Council for supporting the application, Jodie Allard and the Suffolk FA for supporting the bid and also Billy Fox at the Football Foundation who helped us process the successful bid.
“The club have already contacted the company building the stand and also the floodlight installers, but both companies are currently closed with their workers furloughed so we are waiting until the current restrictions are lifted but hope to start work as soon they return.”
Cllr Jo Rayner, Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs at West Suffolk Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that funding for a new stand and floodlighting at Bury Town Football Club's home at Ram Meadow has been confirmed.
“The council was very pleased to be able to work with the club to submit this application and we confirm our commitment to continue to work with the club to ensure it has a home that meets its needs now and in the future.”
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “The Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) is funded by the Premier League and delivered by the Football Foundation.
“Its purpose is to support clubs within the National League System to ensure they meet the FA ground grading criteria of their league, comply with health and safety requirements and to promote club sustainability.
“Bury Town’s successful application to the FSIF funding scheme to support their floodlight and stand improvements is a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work of their members to bring much-needed investment into the club.
“We look forward to seeing the impact that this financial aid has towards supporting the facilities at Ram Meadow, a well-respected and valued venue within the Suffolk football scene.”