A grassroots football club in Ilkeston has been awarded a £499,628 grant to build a changing room pavilion and develop two new pitches.
Stanton Ilkeston FC worked with the Football Foundation and the Derbyshire FA to secure support for the project from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund.
The grant will be used to replace the club’s current facility — a dilapidated shipping container — with two team changing rooms, two officials’ changing rooms, a kitchen, clubroom, and spectator toilets at the Union Road site.
Club chairman John Andrews said: “We are delighted that the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund are providing the support for our community project. Both they and the club are working in partnership to improve grassroots sport in the area.”
The new grant comes on the back of a £64,460 award from Sport England, and the club will also use the funding to develop currently unused wasteland into nine-a-side and five-a-side pitches.
It is a breakthrough moment for the project, which has been beset by planning issues related to the land and a sustained campaign of vandalism at the site.
The expansion will mean that club can provide a home base for all 20 of its current teams who have been playing at several venues nearby venues until now.
The club, which plays in the Long Eaton Sunday League Premier Division and junior leagues, is expected to grow to 34 teams by 2023.
The Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, the Football Association, and the Government, and delivered by the Football Foundation.
Since its launch in 2000, the foundation has become the country’s largest sports charity, awarding over 17,000 grants worth more than £615million, with partnership funding meaning a total of £1.4billion has been invested into the grassroots game.
Chief executive Paul Thorogood said: “The foundation has now awarded 224 grants worth £9.1m across Derbyshire. It is great to hear that Stanton Ilkeston FC will be the latest beneficiary.”
Learn more about the club at stantonilkestonfc.co.uk.