Maidstone United Football Club have secured a grant of £150,000 from The Football Stadia Improvement Fund.
The funding, the maximum possible award, is a massive boost towards the club’s homecoming in July 2012. Construction work on The Gallagher Stadium on James Whatman Way is coming on apace.
The ground will be the first in the country to be built with a 3G pitch. The state-of-the-art synthetic surface will enable the facility to be used by the club’s Ryman League team, their 30+ community teams, as well as other local clubs, businesses, community groups and schools.
Club director Terry Casey said: “Oliver Ash (co-owner and fellow director) and I, since taking over the club, have confirmed our commitment to bringing The Stones home in 2012. With the help and additional funding from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, for which we are very grateful, this will be a reality.
“The Gallagher Stadium will be one of the best non-league facilities in the South East utilising modern technology especially with the 3G playing surface and will make sure that with effective business management, the club will be in existence for many years to come.”
The Football Stadia Improvement Fund, supporters of the Football Foundation, is the largest funder of non league football in the country. More than £90million has already been invested by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund since its launch in July 2000, funding lower league ground improvements throughout professional and amateur game, creating a safe and modern environment for fans and players to enjoy the game.
Chief executive of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and Football Foundation, Paul Thorogood, said: “Supporters are an integral component of what makes football such a captivating and exciting sport, especially in this country. The Football Stadia Improvement Fund is committed to make sure that supporters across the football leagues have access to comfortable and safe surroundings to watch the national sport.
“The new project at Maidstone United Football Club will provide spectators with a significantly improved facility, creating a better viewing experience for home and away fans in the future.”