THERE’S a new ‘wow factor’ for visitors to Brantham Athletic’s ground.
The Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division club’s pitch at Brantham Leisure Centre is now fully enclosed by a new white perimeter fence.
Brantham Leisure Centre and Brantham Athletic FC made a joint application and received a £20,000 grant from the Football Foundation towards the £28,766 cost.
The leisure centre covered the additional near £9,000 cost of the work at the Step 5 ground.
Darren Smith, who is Chief Executive of both the leisure centre and football club, said: “The old permitter fence had been here since time immemorial and needed replacing to smarten the place up.
“We spoke to The FA and were advised to make a joint application for funding.
“The Football Foundation were fantastic and Tom Wilson guided us through the process, which was easier than expected.
“We got three sets of quotes for the fencing and opted for the one provided by Duralock because that was the most cost effective and we also got a 10 per cent discount through their partnership with Suffolk FA.”
Duralock supplied the inter-locking fence, which was installed by former Bury Town goalkeeper Ben Mayhew, who runs BM Fencing.
The fence took around a month to erect and was ready in time for the club’s pre-season friendly versus Colchester United last month.
The pitch surrounds all four sides of the ground, which previously was open onto the cricket square side opposite the main stand.
Darren explained: “The beauty of the fence is that it can be dismantled along the cricket pitch side in around an hour when they have a game and then can be put back up afterwards in around the same time.
“The visual impact for anyone visiting the ground is clear to see. The fence has given it a massive wow factor and lifted everything.
“Being white in colour it stands out and makes it now look like a proper football ground, whereas previously on the cricket square side we had a temporary fence or rope.
“The new fence has certainly put a smile on people’s faces when they have seen it for the first time.”
Having an enclosed ground is a mandatory requirement for club’s playing at Step 4 level.
Darren (pictured above alongside the new perimeter fencing) added: “We are ambitious as a club and want to win promotion and putting in the fence is the first step towards getting ready for Step 4 football.
“To play at the next level we will need to make other improvements and our next project will be submitting another application for funding towards new dugouts.”
Johnathan McGovern, CEO at Duralock, added: “We’re pleased to have been able to supply Brantham Athletic with their pitch fencing and pride ourselves on the quality, substance and professionalism of our fencing systems. We wish them the best of luck this season.”
Visit the Duralock website by clicking here