Chairman is optimistic 3G pitch funding will be found
The organisation behind the project to bring a 3G floodlit football pitch to Haverhill is confident full funding will be raised to make it happen.
The Haverhill Community Sports Association (HCSA) has so far been granted £300,000 from the Football Foundation, Football Stadia Improvement Fund and the Premier League for the facilities to be installed at The New Croft, home to both Haverhill Rovers and Haverhill Borough.
With the new facilities, which will be installed where a turf training pitch currently sits, costing £600,000 (all based on a Football Foundation Framework), a further £300,000 needs to be found.
Tom Harrison, chairman of the HCSA board, expressed confidence in that happening.
He said: “One thing is for sure, we will find, one way or the other, the rest of the money for this facility.
“There are no similar facilities, a 3G pitch, in Haverhill and unlikely to be.
“Haverhill is a growing town. There are more and more people coming to live in Haverhill.
“The population has pretty well exploded over the last 20 to 30 years and with the housing that’s already planned for this town that population is going to continue to grow.”
HCSA, which operates the New Croft, is in preliminary talks with the developer of the 1,100 property Great Wilsey Park project, which will be built on land close to the stadium, about gaining some of the required funding.
If is now five years since Haverhill Rovers moved to the purpose-built New Croft, which was funded by The Football Foundation, Football Stadia Improvement Fund and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
Thurlow, Kedington, Clare, Hundon and Wickhambrook are now all partner clubs in the HCSA’s FA-approved football development plan and have all developed with its assistance.
Like Haverhill Rovers, they are now all FA Charter standard clubs.
The Football Development Plan is the HCSA’s reason for being and it is reviewed by the FA and Football Foundation on a six-monthly basis as part of their revenue funding monitoring and audit.
HCSA is now in the fifth year of its first development plan and a new plan has recently been drawn up to tie in with the 3G pitch currently in development.
Five years ago the New Croft was home to 12 teams, a number that has now risen to 30, with plans for that to rise to 35 by next season.
It is hoped the 3G pitch will be in use by 2016 and once is it in the pressures on the main pitch and the training pitches at The New Croft - which are all hindered by being on heavy clay, affecting the drainage - will be eased.
Having a 3G pitch will also enable the HCSA to become a training provider, increasing from 854 to 1,702 the number of participants in football over a five-year period.