Lewisham Borough unveil their new £23,000 100-seater stand to honour late co-founder Clinton Rhule
LEWISHAM BOROUGH (Community) Football Club will unveil their new £23,000 stand on Sunday, named in memory of one of the founders of the club, the late Clinton Rhule.
The project was made possible thanks to a £16,038 grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
The grant has enabled the club, who play at Step Six of the football pyramid, in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division, to build the brand new 100-seater stand.
Significant improvements have also been made to the playing surface at the Ladywell Arena and a paybox has also been installed.
The project has allowed the club to progress up the football pyramid in meeting the necessary requirements of the FA National Ground Grading Criteria, with the new facility to be used by a range of community groups, including athletics and football.
Funded with £5.2m 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.
Club chairman Ray Simpson said: “After 13 years of hard work from when the club was founded in 2003, we have developed a stadium to be proud of.
“The founder members being myself, George Davis, Joe Collymore and the late Clinton Rhule aspired to achieve this level of football in Lewisham, and with the help and assistance from the Mayor of Lewisham and the Premier League, through the FSIF, we have managed to do that and become members of the National League System Steps 1-6.
“Thanks to all those who have supported us on this journey. In particular the Kent County League, Kent Invicta League and the Southern Counties East Football League Officers along with the FA.
“A huge thanks in particular go to the club directors who have kept the club going and developed the stadium through some difficult times in the last few years.”
Peter McCormick OBE, chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “The new Clinton Rhule Stand for Lewisham Borough (Community) FC will place the club in fantastic stead for the upcoming 2016/17 season, helping aid their progression up the football pyramid.
“The Premier League, through the FSIF, continues to support the development of stadia infrastructure right across the country, and this project is another such example. I wish the club all the best for the season and look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength.”
Lewisham Borough sit at the foot of the table after losing their first five league games of the season and host newly-promoted side Snodland Town at the Ladywell Arena on Saturday (15:00).