Wingate & Finchley FC in North London has been awarded funding by the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), towards a development project for their stadium.
As sister organisation of the Football Foundation, the FSIF are the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
The £146,592 grant will enable Wingate & Finchley FC, which plays in the Bostik League Premier Division at Step 3, to improve their existing stadium, in particular their changing provision and function room. The project is being undertaken to revitalise the building, which requires a refresh with its last major overhaul having been 27 years ago. When finished, the club will benefit from an upgraded function room and bar, state-of-the-art changing rooms for both players and officials, and upgraded spectator toilets.
Next season, the club plans to bring its youth structure in-house. Its teams will range from its semi-professional first team all the way down to the Under-7 age group, as it looks to grow links in the local area and benefit the community and local grassroots game.
The FSIF is funded with £6.5m each year from the Premier League. It is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower-league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.
Aron Sharpe, Wingate & Finchley FC Chairman, said: “We are more than pleased to have received a grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund. The new facility will allow us to modernise and update many facets of the stadium and its facilities. This, along with the refurbishment of our 3G five-a-side pitches, will allow for more participation of youngsters and improve grassroots sports facilities in the area.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “The FSIF is one of the many ways that the Premier League is offering a helping hand to clubs further down the pyramid.
“I commend Wingate & Finchley FC for their efforts in securing this Premier League funding towards their stadium upgrade project.”