29 March, 2013 – Non-league football club Blyth Town, who play in the Northern Alliance Division Premier, will be able to transform their club’s future after winning a £100,000 ‘Super Grant’ from grassroots football programme, Budweiser Club Futures.
The fairytale story began for Blyth Town in December when they were announced as one of the eight grassroots football clubs to be awarded £50,000 worth of funding. Launched last August, Budweiser Club Futures, backed by The FA, is committed to investing £1 million into the grassroots game during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 football seasons.
The eight clubs all took part in a Facebook fan vote in February to try to win the additional £100,000. Blyth Town gained 38 per cent of the public vote, with Evergreen FC from Hertfordshire coming a close second with 29 per cent of votes.
Budweiser Club Futures aims to provide clubs with much-needed financial support to improve their facilities and build a legacy for their local community. The grant Blyth Town has won will help them do just that.
The club now has big plans at its home ground, South Newsham Fields. An extension to the current clubhouse will provide extra space to hold social events and accommodate more players and fans, diversifying their revenue opportunities.
The additional £100,000 will help them extend and resurface the multi-use games area, which will also benefit other teams in the local community.
Budweiser Club Futures ambassador, Alan Pardew, said: “Having started my career at grassroots level, I know just how hard it is to sustain a local club and can appreciate the importance of a programme like Budweiser Club Futures.
“All eight winning clubs received a significant amount of money at the £50,000 stage but this injection of an additional £100,000 for Blyth Town is like a lottery win for them. Congratulations to Blyth Town and I look forward to hearing how the grant has helped them to develop the club, creating opportunities for young, aspiring footballers and for other people within their local community.”
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport, said: “Good football facilities are vital to encourage and sustain participation at the grassroots. It’s great that Budweiser has launched this initiative, with The FA’s backing, that is helping to upgrade facilities. Congratulations to Blyth Town on the £100,000 award that will further strengthen the club and the game more widely in the local community.”
Sandra Orr, Chairman at Blyth Town, said: “Winning the £100K is not only another huge financial boost for us, but the whole process has brought the club, the town and region together, in a massive team effort.
“We can’t wait to resurface and extend our floodlit training area. Not having to hire training facilities will make a huge saving for us. And not only will we benefit from being able to train on site, we will also generate income from rental.
“The new 3G training area and extended community room, to be built using our £50,000 grant, means our facilities can be used virtually all year round by the local community, which is the essence and aim of this great programme from Budweiser and The FA.”
Budweiser European Marketing Director, Iain Newell, said: “Non-league clubs are really important to the future of the beautiful game and to local communities. Budweiser has been proud to give all eight clubs the financial boost they deserve following their successful applications through the Club Futures programme. We look forward to running the programme again next season and to helping more grassroots clubs follow in the footsteps of Blyth Town.”
The eight clubs awarded £50,000 grants are:
- AFC Blackpool – North West
- Blyth Town FC – North East & Yorkshire
- Evergreen FC – East
- Raynes Park Vale – London
- Bardon Hill FC – East Midlands
- Pegasus Juniors FC – West Midlands
- South Park FC – South East
- Camelford FC – South West
For more information on The FA Cup with Budweiser and ‘Budweiser Club Futures’ please visit www.thefa.com/TheFACup/More/budweiser-club-futures
For more information on The FA Cup with Budweiser follow them on www.facebook.com/budweiseruk and http://youtube.budweiser.co.uk
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