Maidstone United Football Club have today unveiled the opening of The Gallagher Stadium, thanks in part to a £150,000 grant from The Football Stadia Improvement Fund, the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
The £2.6million facility is the first in the country to be built with a 3G pitch. The state-of-the-art synthetic surface will enable the stadium to be used by the club’s Ryman League team, their 30 plus community teams, as well as other local clubs, businesses, community groups and schools.
Bill Williams, Chief Executive of Maidstone United, said: “The contribution from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund has helped to make the Stones homecoming a reality. For the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, the county town of Kent has its own football stadium – a facility that will enjoyed by supporters and can be used by the whole community.”
Funded with £6million 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.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and Football Foundation, said: “On behalf of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund I am delighted to be able to award this grant to Maidstone United FC. A vibrant local team is vital for communities as well as the future of football. The Football Stadia Improvement Fund’s aim is to revolutionise funding for the grass roots in the same way the professional game has been transformed.”