Fundraising challenge for town’s oldest club

Stanton Ilkeston Football Club have been awarded �500,000 by the FA to improve their ground
Stanton Ilkeston Football Club have been awarded �500,000 by the FA to improve their ground

An Ilkeston football club has been promised a funding boost of £450,000 that will revolutionise its home for the good of the whole community — but it needs your help to unlock the cash.

The money is from Derbyshire FA, but the only catch is that Stanton Ilkeston FC have to raise a further £60,000 toward the massive revamp that will give them a state-of-the-art base with new pitches, changing rooms and clubhouse.

Steve Lowe, who is on the club’s executive committee, told the ‘Tiser: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our club.

“It might sound like a lot of money and it is, but we have a year to raise it and it’s a small price to pay for what we will get in return.

“We have 18 junior teams so about 400 kids on the books as well as two senior teams.

“If you break down the amount it’s not that much per player and that’s before you even think about big events organised by the club as a whole.

“We’ve got loads in the pipeline and can’t wait to get started.”

With full backing from the ‘Tiser, the club have now set about organising events throughout the next year to raise the £60,000.

A fundraising committee has been formed and monthly meetings will help keep an eye on cash coming in.

The first event is a family fun day that will take place on Easter Sunday at the Nutbrook Cricket club.

Steve said: “As well as the events we are keen to hear from local businesses and community groups who might be able to help us gather the money we need.

“When the clubhouse is finished it will be able to be used by a whole host of local organisations so it would be great if they can partner with us at this stage.

“And there are loads of opportunities for businesses, they can get in touch about sponsoring a pitch maybe or making a donation of some kind.”

Erewash MP Jessica Lee, who has supported the proposals, said: “It’s an incredibly exciting project and will mean a massive investment for the club, town and whole community.

“The executive committee, parents and supporters have worked really hard to get to this stage and I’ll continue to support them however I can.”

The club have the land where they currently play and where the facilities will be built, at the back of Ron Brooks Toyota on Derby Road, on a 25-year lease.

The proposed project is subject to council approval.