The non-League football structure across England plays a key role in local communities and is often a starting point for many talented footballers. Grassroots football is at the heart of Wealden sport and I will continue to campaign for improvements to their facilities.
After raising the issue of lack of investment in local football clubs with the Premier League, seven grants worth £14,500 in total have been awarded to clubs in Wealden through the Pitch Preparation Club.
The successful organisations offered Pitch Preparation Fund grants are:
- Alderbrook playing field, Crowborough
- Fords Green, Nutley
- Forest Row sports ground
- Hadlow Down MW cricket club
- Hailsham Town FC
- Lime Kiln playing field, Crowborough
- The Oaks, Uckfield
Alderbrook playing field in Crowborough was one of the successful applicants and was awarded a grant of £1,500. This funding was used for the maintenance of the main pitch inside the stadium, where the Crowborough Athletic FC First Team plays. However, three junior pitches outside the stadium are in an extremely poor condition and unplayable on. I am proud to support the fundraising campaign, which successfully raised the target of £5,000 to get the junior pitches ready.
Hailsham Town FC has used their grant for pitch maintenance work and reseeding. However, the ground at their home, the Beaconsfield, is prone to flooding which severely hinders the utilisation of the pitch. An extended period of severe weather over last autumn and winter has resulted in catastrophic flooding. I am currently supporting the Club in reaching their £3,000 fundraising target to add proper drainage system.
You can read the coverage of my support in the Wealden Eye, 27 August 2020, here.