LAKENHEATH FC have received an £18,396 grant towards replacing pitch maintenance equipment.
The Football Foundation grant will go towards the overall project cost of £26,280 at The Nest, home of the Thurlow Nunn League Division One club.
The remainder of the money came via a £750 grant from local councillors, £3,000 from the Christian Enterprise Foundation in Lakenheath and £4,000 raised through club funds.
The money was accessed via the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, which is the same fund that Bury Town received £56,386 from in April towards replacing a stand and their floodlights.
Lakenheath FC first-team manager Ben Cowling, who handled the application, said the money was being used to purchase a new tractor, roller mower and combination tool.
He said that the club, who are members of the Suffolk FA Pitch Improvement Programme, were aware their equipment needed replacing.
“Our tractor is over 50 years old and is an agricultural tractor, rather than a sports field tractor, and it was just not viable in any shape or form to do the job required anymore,” he said.
“The new equipment will not only mean we have a better surface to play on, it should mean we have to postpone less games as there were times last season when under-18 matches were called off as we couldn’t get the tractor on the pitch.
“It should also increase participation as we are hoping it will enable us to get another team on the pitch, either a ladies’ or under-16 side, from the 2021-22 season.
“This is a real boon for the club and will help us to progress in the future.”
Lakenheath (yellow shirts) are pictured above playing against Bungay Town (sky blue shirts) at The Nest in the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup quarter-finals in the 2017-18 season.
Suffolk clubs with teams outside the National League System have also recently benefited from smaller grants from the Football Foundation’s Single Fund as follows:
- Beccles Town Youth FC towards boundary fencing and rabbit fencing
- Haverhill Rovers FC towards Grow the Game (U8 female and adult disability)
- Maritime FC towards storage facilities and towards portable floodlights
- East Bergholt United Junior & Women’s FC towards goalposts
- Elmswell Youth FC towards goalposts
- Leiston FC towards goalposts
- Kessingland FC towards goalposts
- Somersham FC towards goalposts
This brings the grant amount from the Football Foundation since football was suspended due to COVID-19 in mid-March to just over £300,000 in Suffolk with the total project costs amounting to £436,000.
This is in addition to the £144,000 that Suffolk clubs received via the Pitch Preparation Fund.
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “Congratulations to all Suffolk clubs who have recently been awarded grants from the Football Foundation.
“Since football was suspended in March, it’s been reassuring to see so many clubs working hard behind the scenes to access financial support through the available grants offered by the Football Foundation, Sport England and Suffolk FA.
“The commitment from these volunteers has ensured an impressive 28 grant awards to benefit local football in Suffolk, on top of the 66 successful applications to the recent Pitch Preparation Fund.
“With the increased challenges that clubs are facing during this time, Suffolk FA and the football partners remain committed to continuing to support clubs to ensure they are safeguarded ahead of the return to football.”
Following on from the Pitch Preparation Fund, the Club Preparation Fund was launched earlier this week.
Applications are invited for the Club Preparation Fund which open until July 19th.
For further details about the Club Preparation Fund click here