Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson writes:
I am delighted to be able to announce that Altrincham FC have received confirmation this week from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) of the award of the maximum possible grant for our pitch and drainage replacement project.
The FSIF have earmarked 70% of the £184,000 project costs – a grant up to a maximum of £128,768. This award, allied with the renowned generosity of our supporters, justifies the gamble that the board have taken in undertaking the biggest investment in the playing surface in the club’s history at a time when we have had no matchday revenue.
We thank the FSIF for the grant, and for managing the thorough and rigorous award process. Their support for the strategically important pitch replacement programme is very welcome.
We achieved this hugely-significant breakthrough courtesy of a herculean effort by Lawrence Looney, Mike Adams and Pete Foster to meet the requirements of the FSIF and to successfully navigate several rounds of detailed questioning on our business case and ongoing strategy.
The Fund remarked that it was rare indeed for them to see a club so well run and so in control of its finances.
Thank you, once again, to our magnificent fans, standing tall once more in raising over £15,000 for the pitch in the first week of our appeal. We therefore have nearly 80% of the required funds raised for the project, secured from the grant and your contributions so far.
Looking back over the last 15 months, to the start of the lockdown, you have given us over £60,000 – to get us to the end of last season and through the play-offs, to support the community in their hour of need and now to help us achieve the playing surface we need to ensure that Alty can continue to play the Phil Parkinson way.
Your generosity, coupled with the streaming and season ticket revenues, support from our sponsors, the grants we have received and the significant new investment in the club over the last 12 months, has gone a long way towards bridging the gap in finances this season.
We have leant on our cash reserves, but the board have been unwavering in our intent to keep the club moving forwards. No battening down the hatches here; instead a desire to push on with our strategy.
Every penny raised through the Pitch In initiative means we can divert additional funds to the playing budget. We want to give ourselves the best chance possible next season – to attract and retain the best players, strengthening our squad and establishing ourselves as a force in the Vanarama National League.
The grant award is great news and another important milestone in the development of the club. Your support so far for Pitch In is also massively important – for the pitch and on the pitch, too. If you’ve not yet had a chance to take a look at what's on offer in return for your support at Pitch In, you can find out more here:
Thank you for your amazing support. We march forwards!