The NLP is teaming up with the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) for the second day running to mark Non-League Day and highlight the benefits the organisation brings to clubs, fans and even footballing legends like Harry Redknapp!
In the build-up to NLD events around the country on Saturday, The NLP is publishing three case studies focusing on clubs and supporters who’ve already been help by the FSIF.
So while you’re watching football this Non-League Day, find out why there’s a fair chance your viewing experience has been improved in some way by the FSIF.
Wessex League Hamworthy Town are today’s case study after Northern Premier League Scarborough Athletic kicked off the special NLD coverage on Wednesday. Northern League Shildon AFC will wrap up the coverage on Friday on the eve of NLD 2019.
What is the FSIF?
The FSIF was set up in 2000 and is funded by the Premier League. It provides technical and financial support for projects to improve the quality of facilities at clubs, particularly at Non-League level.
The investment plays a key role in enhancing the comfort and safety of supporters while also helping to maintain the traditions and competitiveness of the English league system.
The FSIF invests in projects that enable clubs to meet the FA’s ground grading standards at their level.
In addition, the FSIF also directs additional investment towards the Premier League Fans Fund. It awards grants to clubs to strengthen their relationship with supporters and enhance their experience of the game. It also aims to increase accessibility to the sport.
Case Study 2: Hamworthy Town
Former Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth and Queens Park Ranger boss, Harry Redknapp, visited Hamworthy United to celebrate the opening of the club’s new hospitality area, which has secured the long-term future of the club.
The Wessex Premier Division side were awarded £65,450 from the FSIF to double the size of their existing clubhouse, install a new kitchen, toilet facilities and turnstiles, as well as undertaking much-needed improvement works to the car park.
Hamworthy United chairman Steve Harvey said: “The extension of our hospitality area has had such a profound effect on the club.
“It can be really difficult to make clubs at our level financially viable but for the first time in a long time, we are a commercially sustainable football club.
“Previously, space was very limited and as a hospitality space, it didn’t really appeal to external partners. But now the facility can host up to 250 people at any one time and it’s making a massive difference.
“The facility is constantly being booked out for regular functions and conferences and as a result we’ve managed to double our turnover, which is huge at our level.”
The clubhouse isn’t the only way the club have benefited from Premier League money, with their Specsavers County Ground having been redeveloped thanks to a £459,601 grant from the Football Foundation.
The investment was awarded to Dorset County FA in 2016, who agreed to sublet the facility to Hamworthy, enabling local players from various ages to train and play football there.
For more information visit fsif.co.uk.