One Two Magazine May Edition - Page 21

NADHIM ZAHAWI MP OPENS STRATFORD TOWN’S NEW STAND AT CHARITY MATCH FEATURING LOCAL RADIO STARS Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratfordon-Avon, officially opened Stratford Town FC’s new stand at the DCS Stadium recently (Sunday 24 April), which was marked with a charity match contested between Touch FM disc jockeys, Ollie Gallant and Simon Alexander, with money raised going to a local charity, Molly Olly’s Wishes, and the club. The new stand was made possible thanks to a £28,163 grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funder of non league football in the country. The grant enabled the club to install a new 94-seat covered spectator stand, which includes three wheelchair spaces, as well as carry out improvement works to floodlights and dugouts. Toilet facilities and a new covered terrace were also installed thanks to the funding. Stratford Town, who play at Step 3 in the Premier Division of the Southern League, now meet the relevant Ground Grading criteria to continue playing at their current level. Back in 2006 Stratford Town FC received £100,000 from the FSIF and in 2007 the club also received £1m from the Football Foundation, which invests in grassroots football facilities using money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government through Sport England. Both grants went towards a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP), changing rooms, real grass pitch improvements and floodlights. The club have also received new goalposts and Grow the Game funding, towards the creation of new teams, from the Foundation. Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants From left to right: Melanie Tweddle, Chairman of Stratford Town FC; Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon and Denys Shortt, CEO of the DCS group, at the opening of the club's new stand. GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL 21