Bearsted raise £27,000 for Honey Lane ground improvements
BEARSTED chairman Duncan Andrews has reported to members at their annual general meeting that the club has raised the £27,000 required to proceed with the club’s ground improvements at Honey Lane, which will provide one of the best facilities in the area for players of all ages and abilities.
It will also allow the Otham based Kent Invicta League outfit to enable the club’s first team to prepare for promotion to the Southern Counties East Football League.
Bearsted were runners-up in the Kent Invicta League last season.
Photo: Bearsted FC
A club statement, posted on their club website www.bearstedfc.co.uk: “Duncan confirmed that although Bearsted FC already provided football for 17 teams and a development squad, the club needed to upgrade their facilities at Otham, which already includes three full size pitches on grass, but needed floodlights, stands, hard standing and the introduction of a turnstile, to comply with ground requirements for the Kent Invicta league, and the promotion opportunity to the Southern Counties league.
“Bearsted had narrowly missed out on promotion, having finished runners up to Holland’s & Blair in the Kent Invicta League and League Cup, in what turned out to be a very good year, on and off the field, as the club celebrates its 120th year since its formation in 1895.
“The ground improvements required to even stay in the Kent Invicta League will cost in excess of £90,000 and it is a credit to all the volunteer members and fundraisers of the club to have raised such a significant sum, which will benefit sport in our growing community.”
Mr Andrews confirmed that the club had now signed a new 20-year lease for the exclusive use of the ground at Honey Lane, Otham and had submitted the grant application to the Football Stadium improvement fund from the FA for the remaining funding for the project, which is expected to be approved and be completed in the coming months.
Bearsted also had success at under 18’s this season, winning the Kent Youth League South Division with the younger squad and the second year under 18’s team becoming champions of the Maidstone League Division One and cup winners.
The statement added: “Duncan emphasised the importance of the work and opportunities that Bearsted and other clubs in the area were doing to provide affordable facilities, for more people to participate in sport in the community, but pleaded for more volunteers to come forward and for more funding to be available for grass roots sports and leisure facilities to keep everyone active within their towns and villages.
“Bearsted FC have provided the initial opportunities for talented youngsters to progress to play at a higher level, with Doug Loft, Adam Birchall, Alex Flisher, Danny Lye and Graeme Andrews all playing for the Bears as youngsters.”
Visit Bearsted’s website: www.bearsted.fc.co.uk