Work kicks-off on club’s £770,000 3G pitch
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Work to build Beccles Town Football Club’s new state-of-the-art 3G pitch is under way.
The £770,000 project at The Nest off Common Lane South is expected to inspire a whole new generation of footballers and provide vital facilities for the surrounding areas.
Contractors moved onto the site of the new all-weather pitch on Monday, October 15, and are expected to finish in time for the club’s centenary in February next year.
Mark Jermey, the club’s vice chairman, is credited by many as the driving force behind the project – the man who turned the dream into a reality.
He said: “We should look at today as the next stage in our club’s development.
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“The club will be 100-years-old next year and we are all immensely proud to be associated with this new facility that will serve the local community for many years to come.”
He added: “Eighteen-months ago a handful of people associated with Beccles Town FC started to explore the concept of having a local all-weather football pitch.
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“On the back of a significant investment from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund which is delivered by the Football Foundation, the unprecedented help and support of Beccles Town Council, and the generosity of the local community as a whole, this dream has turned into reality.”
Chairman David Leech praised the dedication of Mr Jermey and explained how the pitch would benefit a whole new generation of footballers.
He said: “None of this would have happened without the work of Mark. The amount of unpaid hours he has committed this – you can’t even begin to count.
“When a project like this comes off it is down to the work of volunteers – we can’t ever thank Mark enough.”
Mr Leech added: “The 3G pitch will provide a hub for the whole club, at the minute we are spread out on two sides of the road.
“Kids will now be training on the same pitch as the first team, it gives them something to aspire to.
“To train on the same pitch is huge for the kids, a lot of them look up to the first team.”
FA and town council praise pitch
The all-weather facility will maximise the amount of time aspiring footballers can practice and has garnered much praise from Suffolk FA and Beccles Town Council.
Richard Neal, chief executive of Suffolk FA, said the club was a shining example of how grassroots football should grow and benefit communities.
He said: ““It’s going to be fantastic for the local area. It will allow the club to grow and add new teams – providing an even bigger and better service to the local community.
“This is an example of exactly how we want football to grow.”
Beccles mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw added: “It shows how strong our football club is that they have managed to get to this point. It’s their achievement and it’s incredible.
“I just feel really proud of them all for doing this for the community. From a town council perspective we will always support clubs whenever they want to do something for the benefit of the town.”