How has the Buildbase Club Renovation Programme already helped grassroots football in the UK?
In our latest blog by talkSPORT reporter Tony Incenzo, he asks Cleethorpes Town FC vice-chairman David Mann about the Buildbase bursary the club received in 2017 and what has been achieved since. We also feature some photos taken at the club’s open day celebrating the return to its rightful home:
Tony Incenzo: How has the Buildbase Renovation Programme been helping Cleethorpes Town?
David Mann: Oh fantastically! We were ground-sharing with Grimsby Borough FC at the Bradley Football Development Centre, but we wanted to move back to our own ground five miles away at the Linden Club. That’s where we played before we progressed into senior football, but needed to develop the facilities there to meet ground grading requirements. So we have been literally building a new stadium at the Linden Club courtesy of the £50,000 Buildbase bursary.
We have installed perimeter barriers and hard standing around the pitch, concreted areas for a future grandstand and covered standing as well as making preparations for floodlight cables with the ducting now in place. We have been using a building company that already had a good working relationship with Buildbase and the prices of the Buildbase materials have been very competitive.
TI: What are the benefits of the Buildbase Renovation Programme at Cleethorpes Town for your local community?
DM: The benefits are huge. Having our own ground means we can have open days and let kids in for free at matches. It will provide us with new income that we don’t currently have in terms of food and bar sales so we can continue improving the facilities. To begin with, we will only use the Linden Club pitch for our first team and under-21 matches. But, going forward, we have planning permission for a 3G artificial pitch where we can accommodate all our other teams. We have 30 teams in total, from under-7’s right through to the men’s first team, plus four girls’ teams and a ladies team.
TI: How have your fortunes been on the field of play in the Evo-Stik (Northern Premier) League South Division?
DM: We won promotion last season as champions of the Northern Counties East League and we also reached The Buildbase FA Vase Final at Wembley Stadium. Then we started the current campaign with a number of good wins and another cup run in the Buildbase FA Trophy before being beaten by Spennymoor Town 2-1 at home.
TI: Overall, how much of a boost has the Buildbase Club Renovation Programme been to your club?
DM: Absolutely huge. We would never have been able to get home to the Linden Club without Buildbase. The bursary has been an absolute game-changer for us. There’s a real buzz around the club and local people are more interested in us than ever before.