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Nadhim Zahawi MP opens Stratford Town's new stand at charity match featuring local radio stars

Nadhim Zahawi MP opens Stratford Town’s new stand at charity match featuring local radio stars

Nadhim Zahawi MP at the opening of Stratford Town FC's new stand

Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon, officially opened Stratford Town FC’s new stand at the DCS Stadium recently (Sunday 24 April), which was marked with a charity match contested between Touch FM disc jockeys, Ollie Gallant and Simon Alexander, with money raised going to a local charity, Molly Olly’s Wishes, and the club.

The new stand was made possible thanks to a £28,163 grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funder of non league football in the country.

The grant enabled the club to install a new 94-seat covered spectator stand, which includes three wheelchair spaces, as well as carry out improvement works to floodlights and dugouts. Toilet facilities and a new covered terrace were also installed thanks to the funding.

Stratford Town, who play at Step 3 in the Premier Division of the Southern League, now meet the relevant Ground Grading criteria to continue playing at their current level.

Back in 2006 Stratford Town FC received £100,000 from the FSIF and in 2007 the club also received £1m from the Football Foundation, which invests in grassroots football facilities using money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government through Sport England. Both grants went towards a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP), changing rooms, real grass pitch improvements and floodlights. The club have also received new goalposts and Grow the Game funding, towards the creation of new teams, from the Foundation.

Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF 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.

Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon, said: “I was delighted to officially open Stratford Town FC’s new stand. The facility will provide a safe environment for supporters and players to enjoy the game. Improvements to the toilet facilities and terrace adds to this impressive site, which without the investment from the Premier League through the FSIF, would not have been possible.

“The charity match with Touch FM was great fun, and what a brilliant way to commemorate the opening of a fantastic facility. I would like to thank everyone involved with making the development a reality, and I look forward to seeing Stratford Town FC’s continuous improvement in the years to come.”

Melanie Tweddle, Chairman of Stratford Town FC, said: “I would like to thank everyone for their support in developing the facilities at the DCS Stadium. The funding from the Premier League through the FSIF has made the new stand a reality, and we look forward to the next season where our focus is to continue doing well in the Southern Premier Division.”

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “Stratford Town FC are a great grassroots club, and I am thrilled to see the new stand officially open. The covered seating, terrace and toilet facilities will provide a safe and comfortable base for players, supporters and all of the club’s members. The improvements made to the DCS Stadium mean the club also meet the relevant ground grading criteria, which allows them to continue playing at their current level. The Premier League is dedicated to improving stadia facilities like the stand at Stratford Town FC – without their investment these developments would not be possible. I would like to wish the club all the best for the coming years.”

ENDS

For more information contact:

- Jo Billings on 01926 485 663 or jo.billings@quidemradio.co.uk
- Alice Sherritt on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or alice.sherritt@footballfoundation.org.uk 


Touch FM presenters at opening of Stratford Town FC's new stand
Touch FM presenters, Ollie Gallant (in blue) and Simon Alexander (in orange) with match officials ahead of the game. Simon's team won 4-2 on penalties.

Quote

“I was delighted to officially open Stratford Town FC’s new stand. The facility will provide a safe environment for supporters and players to enjoy the game. Improvements to the toilet facilities and terrace adds to this impressive site, which without the investment from the Premier League through the FSIF, would not have been possible.”

Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon

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