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Essex club goes from strength to strength with series of ground improvements

Essex club goes from strength to strength with series of ground improvements

Essex club goes from strength to strength with series of ground improvements
Councillor Ian Block, Mayor of Brightlingsea (left) and Essex FA Chief Executive Brendan Walshe (right) were on hand to unveil the new seated stand at Brightlingsea Regent FC.

Councillor Ian Block, Mayor of Brightlingsea and CEO of Essex County FA, Brendan Walshe unveiled Brightlingsea Regent FC’s new ground improvements in Essex over the weekend (Saturday 14 July). The project was made possible by investment from the Premier League, which has been delivered by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).

The investment has allowed Brightlingsea Regent FC, who play in the Isthmian League Premier Division to install a new 100-seat covered stand that is fully compliant with current safety legislation. The new stand means the ground now meets the requirements of Grade C of the FA National Ground Grading Criteria for their Step 3 position.

The club currently runs two senior teams, with its reserves playing in the Eastern Counties Eastern Senior League at Step 6. The improvements will also benefit the Under-19s Academy, which runs in partnership with the Colne Community School and plays in the National League Alliance C Division.

The project was made possible by a £14,013 grant from the Premier League, which is delivered through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation.

In 2014, following their promotion to Step 4, Brightlingsea Regent FC also received a grant of £30,975 from the Premier League through the FSIF, which enabled them to install a new spectator stand and improve accessibility to their clubhouse. Prior to this, the club received £10,216 in 2012 to make initial stadia improvements, which takes the Premier League’s investment in improving the club’s infrastructure to £55,204.

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.

Terry Doherty, Chairman of Brightlingsea Regent FC, said: “As a club we are extremely grateful to the FSIF and the Essex Community Initiatives Fund for aiding the club once again in its ongoing stadium improvements. Thanks to both these bodies and our club commercial department we have been able to achieve a Grade C ground certificate which has enabled us to remain at Step 3 on the non-league football pyramid.

“Our next project will be to extend our dressing rooms to comply with new forthcoming regulations. The new stand means that we can now seat over 250 people under cover, which is fabulous.”

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “Whilst Brightlingsea Regent FC have enjoyed success on the pitch the last couple of years, it is fantastic that investment from the Premier League delivered through the FSIF is helping the club to grow off it. By improving stadia infrastructure all over the country the FSIF helps to keep players and spectators safe, enabling them to enjoy the game.

“I would like to congratulate Brightlingsea Regent FC for securing the necessary funding for their ground improvements, which I’m sure will support the club in further growth, both through developing their players and encouraging more locals to come along for fixtures.”

ENDS

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Quote

Thanks to both these bodies and our club commercial department we have been able to achieve a Grade C ground certificate which has enabled us to remain at Step 3 on the non-league football pyramid.- Terry Doherty, Chairman of Brightlingsea Regent FC

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