A £1m third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) and stadium development has been finalised in Stockton.
Stockton Town Football Club and Stockton Sixth Form College are delighted to showcase the new facility, which includes an impressive all-weather 3G AGP, dug outs, floodlighting, turnstiles and spectator stand, located on Bishopton Road West.
The development has been funded by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund (PL/FA:FF), Sport England and the Premier League through the Football Stadium Improvement Fund (FSIF). The facility will be fully complete in July with the addition of new changing blocks, toilets, modern refreshments room and a seated spectator stand.
The use of the facility will be shared between the two organisations, with additional time set aside for community use. College students will have access to the pitch for sports lessons, enrichment, volunteering opportunities and team sports whilst the club will be able to provide the best facilities for all of its teams and also be able to expand the provision of its popular sporting initiatives, including:
The facility can also be available for hire to local sporting teams and community groups.
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 14,200 grants worth more than £560m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £780m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.
Martin Hillerby, Chairman of the volunteer-led Stockton Town Football Club, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the new 3G stadium development and committed to ensuring its place at the heart of the sporting community in Stockton.
“Stockton Town can now be considered home to the best sporting facilities outside professional football in the North East.
“We will continue working to ensure the Football Club is a hub of sporting activity in the borough by expanding our vast range of community projects and raising football aspirations right the way through our 21 teams.
“When the pitch passed its inspection in April, it was also confirmed that our successful first team would be eligible for promotion to the Ebac Northern League for the first time. Indeed, they secured promotion earlier this week when they were crowned winners of the Wearside League for the 4th consecutive year. The new Stadium will now enable the Club to enter competitions as prestigious as the FA Cup, FA Vase and FA Youth Cup in the coming seasons, which will be a huge coup for the Club and our fantastic players.”
Joanna Bailey, Principal at Stockton Sixth Form College, said: “It has been a short few months watching the tremendous progress of the development and we are extremely pleased with the results. We are delighted to be able to have such an amazing facility on our doorstep, helping to enrich students’ education both in and out of lessons.
“We believe the facility will bring no end of benefit to local schools and our local community.”