We are delighted to announce that the club has been awarded funding by the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF). As sister organisation of the Football Foundation the FSIF are the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
The £52,903 grant is 70% of the total cost of £75,575 to upgrade the incoming electricity supply as well as the floodlights. The balance of £22,672 will be met from club funds. When the floodlights are erected they will also enable the club to play in the prestigious FA Vase in the 2020/21 season and dependent upon League position we may also play in the FA Cup from 2020/21 onwards.
The upgraded power supply is expected to be installed in the next 10 weeks with installation of the floodlights expected to take up to 4 weeks. In line with FA Regulations and West Midlands Regional League requirements we expect the floodlights to be installed and working by 30 September 2019
The grant is the second grant the club has received from the FSIF in the last 3 years. In 2016 the club also received £15000 towards the cost of erecting a 50 seat grandstand and hardstanding.
Chairman Neil Chambers said “It is fantastic news that we were successful in our grant application to the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, funded by the Premier League. We have been planning for this day for nearly six years, since the club was re-formed in September 2013. On day one the committee and directors set up a Development Fund Account to ensure we had funds in place to improve our facilities and make sure we were well placed to progress when the opportunity arose.
We do not have a benefactor and everything we do at this club is done by volunteers, including the players and management. No one is paid a penny so every penny we make is spent on meeting running costs or improving facilities for the 40,000 service users who use or visit the ground every year. Clubs like ours simply cannot afford to improve facilities without the help of grant funding including the FSIF.
The grant means that the Paycare Ground will be the first facility in Bentley to have floodlights which will allow us to gain promotion not only this season but potentially in future seasons. It is wonderful news for our committee, directors, supporters and players who will benefit greatly from the improved facilities”.
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “It is great to hear that a grant from the Premier League, through the FSIF, is going to help Darlaston Town (1874) to install new floodlights at The Paycare Ground.
“Through the FSIF, the Premier League is committed to improving the standard of infrastructure at all levels of the game. It is important that investment makes its way to lower league clubs, and the new floodlights at Darlaston Town (1874) is a great example of what this funding can do.”