It was the end of a long journey for Bottesford FC on Bank Holiday Monday when Melton MP Alan Duncan, and Mayor of Melton Pru Chandler officially opened their new state-of-the-art clubhouse.
The new facility boasts four team changing rooms, two changing rooms for matchday officials, as well as a community room, complete with kitchen, which it is hoped will help to increase the club’s income and promote sustainability.
Bottesford were awarded a £507,348 grant from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund towards the project, while Melton Council gave £25,000, leaving the club to find £32,000.
As part of the process the club worked with the Football Foundation and the county FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, with an emphasis on increasing participation.
Bottesford FC chairman Dan Gribby said: “This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support and funding from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund.
“As a club with nearly 350 players, this facility is essential for our growth and will help to improve grassroots sport in the community.”
Teams previously played at the village hall pitch, with only a dilapidated portable cabin for teams to change in.
The new clubhouse will allow every team to play at the Nottingham Road site which contains 12 pitches, looked after by Russell Hibbert, a recent runner-up in the FA Groundsman of the Year awards at St George’s Park.
It is hoped the facility will allow them to more than double the number of teams playing over the next five years and help retain young players within the club. They also plan to establish two new girls’ sides.
The community room will be used by local groups and organisations to provide sports and activities, including yoga and pilates, karate and zumba classes.