HUNGERFORD TOWN are closing in on the 20 per cent mark as the club bids to raise the £35,000 needed to improve its Bulpit Lane and retain its place in the Vanarama National League.
The club’s rise up the football ladder has left its homely ground lagging behind in facilities, and the club has until March 31 next year to get facilities up to standard and has launched the bid to appeal to raise the money to attract the matching grants that will enable the work to go ahead.
“This is the only way we can think of doing it,” said chairman Nigel Warrick. “The football under manager Bobby Wilkinson has been brilliant and has taken us to this level, but the infrstrastructure is old and has not kept pace.
“We have the costs of running the club and the football covered, but I’m not a rich man and can’t meet the infrastructure costs.
“It will help us to know how much the community is behind the club and what it has achieved in bringing this level of football to the area.”
The immediate target is to provide a new seated area to bring the club up to standard, improve the floodlights and dressing rooms and provide the addtional turnstiles required by the regulations.
A first aid area, female officials’ changing room dressing and wheechair accessible toilets are also in the plans, and the club has longer term aims to improve the clubhouse area to offer more community value and hopes to make that self-funding.
“But the first important things are to provide an extra stand and the floodlights,” said Warrick, “without which we can’t remain in the league.”
In the few days since the appeal was launched, players have contributed towards the £7,000 raised or pledged so far and have even roped in’ UK acting leader Nigel Farage to promote its aims and his ‘name’ will adorn the stand unless a suitable sponsor comes forward!
“If you look at other clubs and where they are and what we have achieved here, there’s no comparison and to get where we are is amazing,” said Warrick.
“Other clubs would bite their hands off to be where we are, and we are not looking for millions, just the money to maintain the club at this standard and to impove the facilities for all the communuity teams that use it as well.”
Full details and a running account of the fund raising are available at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nigel-warrick