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Light shines on Lakenheath FC ahead of upcoming season in new division

Light shines on Lakenheath FC ahead of upcoming season in new division

Light shines on Lakenheath FC ahead of upcoming season in new division
From left to right: Suffolk FA Chief Executive, Richard Neal, Lakenheath FC Chairman, Kevin Fincham, and Vice-Chairman, Steve Peasey.

Suffolk based Lakenheath FC officially switched on their new floodlights for the first time on Friday night (5 July 2019) before a 1-0 loss in a pre-season friendly against Mildenhall Town FC. This has been made possible by investment from the Premier League, which has been delivered by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).

The investment has allowed Lakenheath FC, who were promoted to the newly expanded Eastern Counties Step 6 League for the 2018/19 season, to install floodlights at their home ground for the first time ever and lay down hard standing and new dugouts. The upgrades and improvements ensure that that the club meet the requirements of Category G for the FA National Ground Grading Criteria applicable to their Step level.

Lakenheath FC will now be able to enter National FA competitions for the first time and will be eligible for further progression up the non-league pyramid if successful on the pitch. To coincide with the improvements the club also plans to establish an Under 18 side to help support the development of local youngsters and to help with the growth of the first and reserve teams.

The club has a strong and loyal committee with current Chairman Kevin Fincham taking over from his father Gene Fincham who originally took on the role in the 1960’s. Kevin played over 550 games for the club before taking on the Chairman’s role, whilst Gene remains involved in the club as Life president. Kevin’s son Gareth continues the family line, as an active player having made over 500 appearances for the club.

The project was made possible by a £50,159 grant from the Premier League, which is delivered through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation.

This money covers two grants, one for the floodlights and one for the hard standing. In 2014 Lakenheath FC were awarded a £28,472 grant from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund towards the extension of the clubhouse. This brings the total FSIF investment at Lakenheath FC to £78,631.

Kevin Fincham, Chairman of Lakenheath FC, said: “The club has made huge strides over the past 12 months, the ground is almost unrecognisable, and the developments allow us to continue to grow the club and benefit the local community. We are delighted that Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal was able to attend today to unveil the lights as the support from our County FA during this process has been fantastic. Lastly, I would like to thank the Football Stadia Improvement Fund for their support, great works are being completed up and down the country thanks to the Premier League’s support of grassroots football.”

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “The new floodlights at Lakenheath FC represent another great boost for a club that is continuing to progress up the football pyramid, now playing in Step 6 in the Eastern Counties League. The developments here at The Pit have enabled the club to push on and I look forward to seeing the club develop further over the coming seasons. The Premier League, through the FSIF, is committed to improving grassroots infrastructure right across the country and these works are further proof of this.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

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.

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Quote

“The club has made huge strides over the past 12 months, the ground is almost unrecognisable, and the developments allow us to continue to grow the club and benefit the local community.” - Kevin Fincham, Chairman of Lakenham FC

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