Funding boost for junior football club

Representatives of Ellington Juniors Football Club with Couns Peter Jackson and Cath Homer.
Representatives of Ellington Juniors Football Club with Couns Peter Jackson and Cath Homer.

Northumberland County Council has agreed a grant of £168,000 to support a junior football club’s major £870,000 upgrade of its facilities.

Ellington Juniors Football Club, a registered not-for-profit charity, has around 170 members from the age of six up, with some age groups so popular that there are two teams.

However, it has never had facilities to call home and teams have to play games wherever pitches are available.

The club was gifted nine acres of land by Alcan when its Lynemouth smelting plant closed on which to build new pitches and a new community pavilion with changing facilities. Planning permission has been granted for three pitches, a 3G pitch and the pavilion.

The overall cost of the scheme is around £870,000 and, to date, the club has raised £471,000 from various funding sources.

The council’s cabinet approved a £168,000 grant last week for the next priority which is to fund and complete the community pavilion.

This will include a kitchen, changing rooms, storage and toilets and will be made available to schools, churches, Scouts, resident associations, the parish council, other sports clubs and local residents.

Council leader Peter Jackson said: “After seeing the impressive work already done on this project, we’re delighted to be able to help fund this successful club which has been carrying out excellent work for 30 years now.

“The new pavilion will benefit not only the club but provide a focal point for the wider area and help bring a new lease of life to this site.”

Work is set to start in June and should be completed in four months.

Club chairman, Ray Dunn, said: “We have been raising funds in recent years to give our 17 teams a home base for playing matches and for training.

“It is brilliant that the council has recognised our efforts and has provided the extra monies that we needed. I can’t wait for the work to start.

“Once complete, we will have facilities that will not only benefit the club but also the whole community.”