LONG Melford’s new clubhouse will be a ‘lasting legacy’ to the club and the community.
The new clubhouse, which cost more than £700,000, has been officially opened after a long delay.
Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler, who attended the opening, said: “It was a pleasure to attend the official opening of the new Long Melford FC clubhouse.
“The clubhouse is credit to the Peter Turner and Rob Bowden who led on this project, along with the support of a very dedicated committee.
“The facility will be a lasting legacy for Long Melford Football Club and the local community.”
The clubhouse has been eight years in the making, after a flood caused the ceiling in the existing clubhouse to fall through. Although repairs were made it hastened the need to replace the building.
The Long Melford Community Sports Trust was formed and all their hard work came to fruition when the new clubhouse was opened before various dignitaries.
The new building replaces the old clubhouse, which was originally a school classroom and had stood on the site at Stoneylands since 1976.
Worked started on the new clubhouse in January last year, but was hit by delays caused by Covid-19, the rising cost of sourcing materials and wet weather.
The work has been carried out by Long Melford firm KHA Survey & Design, whose founder and director Kevin Hurley is a supporter of the club and has overseen the project.
The club received a £480,000 grant through the Football Foundation, with the remainder of the cost coming via funding from both Long Melford Parish Council and Babergh District Council as well as donations and the club’s own fundraising.
The new clubhouse will not only benefit Long Melford’s three senior sides – first team, Reserves and Under-18s, but also Long Melford Colts and Fillies, who also use the ground.
The club, who were formed in 1868 and are the tenth oldest in the country, currently play in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Matt Stebbings said: “It is fantastic to see such a great facility in use for the local footballing community and beyond. Long Melford and the team should be proud of what they have achieved.
“Clubs wanting to upgrade of improve their facilities, including grass pitches can get in contact with me to arrange a site visit and a free grass pitch assessment.”
Please contact Matt Stebbings via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above at the opening with two members of the Long Melford Youth teams are (left to right) South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler and Rob Bowden, Vice-Chair of the Long Melford Community Sports Trust.