Football club's £750k new clubhouse to act as 'community hub' for village
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Work on Long Melford Football Club's new clubhouse is almost complete and is expected to open later this year.
The Covid pandemic and a very wet winter caused delays to the project, but it is now hoped the club will be able to open its new doors by the end of July.
Peter Turner, chairman of the Long Melford Communities Sports Trust, said that along with the resurfacing of the car park and the completion of the new clubhouse the whole project will cost around £750,000.
Mr Turner said: "We are really excited for it to be completed, especially considering all the challenges we have faced with the pandemic, one of the wettest winters, and the joys of Brexit.
"It has been an amazing journey and it feels like we are just entering the home straight.
"It is a substantial investment in the village as well and once completed it will be really good for everyone."
Work on the new clubhouse started back in July 2020 and it was originally planned to be finished by the end of last year.
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Mr Turner said the new clubhouse will have a multitude of uses to act as a community hub.
"The important thing is it is going to be a new home for both our senior and youth clubs but also it will hopefully provide a sustainable way forward to keep both clubs running," he said.
"We are hoping to let the building out because it is going to be a really attractive space for people to use and the income we receive from that will help us to promote not just football but also a number of other activities and sports on the site."
The chairman of the trust also believes that the new clubhouse could play a part in attracting more players to the club.
He said: "We are a truly amateur club and we do not pay our players, but we do help with travel costs.
"As a club we really are punching above our weight as we play against much larger towns and villages and I think it is the environment at Long Melford that will attract players.
"What is amazing about Long Melford is our youth section is absolutely booming with lots of young players wanting to come and join.
"We hope to continue that journey and hope many of the young players will want to carry on and play for the senior teams."