Newton Aycliffe Football Club is hoping to score a goal with fans thanks to funding from the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (GAMP).
A new hospitality suite is set to be built thanks to £20,000 from the neighbourhood budgets of Cllr Sarah Iveson and Cllr John Moran (£10,000 each.)
As visitors to Moor Lane Park know, the one thing missing from the ground is a clubhouse. The supporters currently use Aycliffe Sports Club and have long yearned for a sheltered, social space close to the pitch which can act as a viewing area for fans.
GAMP funding is being used to purchase a large portable unit which is approximately 60 feet long with a veranda and with room for approximately 100 seated spectators.
Adam White, GAMP coordinator, said: “This is a fantastic project which will help the town’s football club. Funding will provide a number of benefits not only for the club but also the hundreds of supporters who enjoy following their local team.”
Two local companies have been chosen to help kick start the project. Allan Oliver Reinforcing Ltd has agreed to install and fund the concrete base and foundations with Finley Structures Ltd agreeing to fund and install the steel framework for the structure, including the viewing area. GAMP funding will also be used to fund flooring in the main stand.
A new stand last year enabled the ground to be eligible for the First Division but a lack of funding meant appropriate flooring couldn’t be installed. It still qualified for Football Association ground grading but can’t hold as many people as other similar grounds and puts visitors off. It’s hoped these new further improvements will not only benefit current fans but attract new ones too.
The work is set to take place at the end of the season in May.
GAMP is one of 14 Area Action Partnerships set up in 2009 to help Durham County Council better engage with residents.