As we prepare to unveil the winners of the 2018 Buildbase Club Renovation Programme, how has the initiative already helped grassroots football in the UK?
In our latest blog by talkSPORT reporter Tony Incenzo, he asks Hanwell Town FC commercial director Nigel Hunt about the Buildbase bursary the club received in 2017:
Tony Incenzo: How has the Buildbase Renovation Programme been helping Hanwell Town?
Nigel Hunt: We have received a great deal of building equipment from Buildbase and excellent advice on what materials to obtain and at the best cost. We started off by building a completely new kitchen, revamped the bar area and then installed a new ceiling in the clubhouse.
Externally, we have built a perimeter wall around most of the ground and a new wall alongside the car park. Also, there is a children’s nursery as part of our site so we have created a small garden for the kids as part of our support for the local community. In addition, we have been able to offer our club supporters a discount on purchases at the local Buildbase store.
TI: Are any further improvements going to take place as part of this Buildbase Renovation Programme?
NH: Yes, we are still looking to renovate the toilets with a disabled toilet. We also want to improve our changing rooms and that will happen in the off-season during the summer. All of this work is being carried out by a mixture of our club members and the builders that we have appointed.
TI: What are the benefits of the Buildbase Renovation Programme at Hanwell Town for your local community?
NH: As well as our adult teams, we have the largest youth football set-up in the London Borough of Ealing. There are 25 youth teams at Hanwell Town ranging from Under-7’s up to Under-18’s. So whatever we improve around the ground benefits our young footballers, including those who have dropped out of academies at professional clubs. The bursary from Buildbase has made our club more attractive and we have been inundated recently with youngsters wanting to play football. In effect, word has got around that we are a club that is moving forward. The renovation programme also means we can develop some women’s football teams at Hanwell Town. We are helped overall by having a big LED advertising screen on the A40 dual-carriageway where we highlight the fact that “Buildbase is proud to sponsor Hanwell Town Football Club”.
TI: How have your fortunes been on the field of play this season in the Evo-Stik Southern League East Division?
NH: We had a disappointing start to the season. The first half of the campaign was very up and down even though we were playing some good football. But results have picked up and we are quite happy with the way things are going at the moment. We have started to move up the table and we have a few games in hand on other teams.
TI: How much of a boost has the Buildbase Club Renovation Programme been to your club?
NH: Oh amazing! It has been a huge boost. Anyone who walks into our ground now can see a massive improvement from 12 months ago. It has also helped us bring new sponsors in as they can sense a club moving forward. It is great that Buildbase is involved in Non-League football because clubs like ours need all the help we can get. It is very tough making ends meet on a weekly basis and we wouldn’t have been able to carry out this programme of improvements without Buildbase’s fantastic help.