A triple dose of funding – including a £700,000 from an anonymous benefactor – will see a new football stadium built in Sheffield.
The cash will swell the coffers of Handsworth Junior Sporting Club and Handsworth Parramore FC and enable the Northern Counties East League team to develop the Oliver’s Mount ground and return home from Worksop Town, where they currently play their home games.
Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, was on hand to present the Sporting Club and Parramore with two lots of funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund (PL/FA:FF) and Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).
The funding will act as a catalyst for the club’s infrastructure development plans to consolidate Handsworth Junior Sporting Club at the Oliver’s Mount site.
The club were presented with a PL/FA:FF cheque for £500,000, which will allow the club to install a new state-of-the-art floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP).
Alongside the funding for the new all-weather pitch, Handsworth Parramore FC were awarded a £100,000 grant from the Premier League through the FSIF, to build a new two-storey changing pavilion.
Steve Holmes, co-chairman at Handsworth Parramore, said: “It’s a £1.3 million contract – £600,000 from the Football Foundation, £100,000 grant from the Premier League and £700,000 from a private funder we are not revealing the name of just yet.
“We have been working on this project for the last four or five years where we are trying our best to get the senior side back to Sheffield and build a facility that will enableus to fulfil its ambitions.
“We looked at various sites around the city but for various reasons they have not happend so thought there’s no place like home.”
The proposed new 3G pitch will replace an existing real grass pitch, which was prone to waterlogging.
It will enhance Handsworth Junior Sporting Club’s long-term financial situation and allow them to deliver several community initiatives.
Mr Holmes said the facilities would also be opened up to other junior football clubs in the area at a ‘discounted rate’.
The new changing pavilion and a 700-seater stadium will enable Handsworth Parramore, to cement their position at Oliver’s Mount and improve the facilities available to players and fans alike.
Mr Holmes said work was expected to begin early next year, with the stadium ready in time for the start of the 2019/20 season next August.
Mr Betts said: “It’s fantastic news that Handsworth Junior Sporting Club and Handsworth Parramore FC have received these two grants from the Football Foundation and Football Stadia Improvement Fund, respectively.
“Having top class facilities readily available is vital for the future development of grassroots footballers across the country.
“I’m delighted that players in Handsworth will benefit from the new 3G pitch and changing pavilion, which have been made possible thanks to funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England.
“Investment in community football is crucial to encouraging more people to participate.”