Faversham Town does need a little bit of help to go to the next level, says Ray Turner
The Lilywhites unveiled their plans to improve facilities at their stadium in five phases.
The ground was in a sorry state of disrepair back in 2003 when the club were suspended by The Kent Football Association for non-payment of fines, but the club soon returned to Salters Lane in 2005 after a sterling effort from people who didn’t want to see their club die.
“There’s plenty of things going on,” said Turner.
“I’m heavily involved with the development project and I think it’s got to happen for us.
“We’re a club that’s still quite a small club at this level and the board as it currently is and previous boards have done a fantastic job to get this club up to a level.
“We’re just not a Ryman club anymore, I think we’re a Ryman South club that people respect and we’ve earnt that respect so that’s a testament to the group of players and everyone behind the scenes as well.
“I just think the club does need a little bit of help to go to that next level.
“Without new facilities we’re constantly spending money patching up old facilities, which I know is the case of a lot of grounds, but in particular in our case we’ve still got the original dressing rooms there that are just not really set for purpose really.
“It’s exciting. It’s something that we’re going to make happen as a club and I think it will be good for the players and everyone at the club to see new facilities.
“The support has been fantastic this year. We’re averaging 200 people, which we’ve never done before and I think as a town we want facilities that we can be proud off and everybody in the community can use and I think the football club deserve it.”
Turner wants to see the first signs of re-development in the next few months.
He said: “You are dependent on grant applications being approved. That will be the first step of planning but we’re very close to submitting both. It should be done in the next week or so.
“Those processes have to take place once we know we can get a date and we’re illegible for the grant we can go ahead and get the first stage done which is the new dressing rooms built so it will be great for us.
“We’d like very much to see something started towards the back end of pre-season, even if it’s clearing the ground and getting ready to go.”
Here are the main points of Faversham Town’s redevelopment:
· Phase one is built on the need for new changing rooms.
· Along with the new changing rooms, additional hospitality will be added on the second tier of the building
· It is hoped work can begin on this phase at the end of this season and as this area isn’t currently in use, will not affect the day-to-day running of the club.
Chairman Ray Leader said: “At this moment in time, we are currently in the process of finalising our application to the Football Foundation for a grant of around half of the funds we require (for this stage).
“Hopefully, we will be successful in getting the funds we will apply for. Then, we will have to try to raise the rest of the money.”
After phase one has been completed, the existing changing rooms and toilets can be demolished to create more space.
· Phase two will focus on providing additional hospitality and function facilities as well as an additional 100 covered seats.
· In this part of the plan, the entrance of the ground will become an exit and a new entrance will be installed. This will serve the newly added function rooms, which will be used seven days a week and becomes self-funding.
· The current clubhouse will be demolished as part of this part of the proposal.
· This space will be used to create a dedicated coffee shop, a retail unit that can be taken by any sports retailer and meeting rooms and offices that could be rented. The space is aimed at being versatile and will offer the possibility of additional revenue streams.
· As part of this phase of the development, a new turnstile entrance will be added to the ground.
· The near-side stand will be demolished at this stage.
· An additional 120-person stand and a fitness centre with separate changing rooms will be installed.
For more details, please visit: www.favershamtownfc.co.uk/FTFC%20stadium%20redevelopment%20(25022014).html