New £750,000 3G facility at Needham Market FC will include community cafe
- Credit: Archant
Needham Market will spend around £750,000 on a new state-of-the-art football facility that will include a community café.
The Marketmen will lay a brand-new 3G pitch – the first of its kind in Mid-Suffolk -on the grass land next to the club car park, while a 50-seat capacity stand, changing rooms and referee facilities will also be erected.
The project is aimed at further boosting the club’s burgeoning academy programme, while encouraging youngsters from partner clubs, Needham Phoenix and Stowupland Falcons, to use the facilities for training and matches.
Needham aim to have the project completed by the start of the 2018-19 season – the new facility taking the burden off the main pitch at Bloomfields, which will be used exclusively by the first-team.
The club’s reserve and youth teams will be the main beneficiaries of the 3G facility, which will also be available to the public, with the café containing a large viewing area to watch the action.
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“We want to be more community-based as a whole club while we want the academy to offer a possible exit route into the first-team for youngsters,” said Operations and Academy director Robert Peace, who confirmed the project would be funded wholly by the Football Foundation.
“We have gone through the planning stages with the local authority and we are in the final stages of producing our application to the Football Foundation.
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“You can’t get away from the fact that the Needham Market first-team in one of the biggest non-league teams in the county and to be associated with the football club is a big thing for a lot of people.”
Mr Peace added: “From an academy point-of-view, the football side of things has always been good, but people come to us now for the education we offer as much as the football, while anyone who completes a BTEC with us is guaranteed a place on a degree or Matsers course at the University of Suffolk.”
“From the perspective of the wider community, there will be a lot of people in Mid-Suffolk who will suddenly have access to a 3G pitch and state-of-the-art facilities for years to come.
That is something they have not had before.”