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Football Stadia Improvement Fund’s final spotlight falls on Shildon AFC

Football Stadia Improvement Fund Shildon AFC

Shildon AFC are the final club in the spotlight for Non-League Day 2019 after The NLP teamed up with the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) to highlight the benefits the organisation brings to the game and fans from the lowest levels up.

While you’re watching football this Non-League Day, there’s a fair chance your viewing experience has been improved in some way by the FSIF.

To demonstrate how, The NLP has already published case studies focusing on two clubs who’ve already been helped by the FSIF, Northern Premier League Scarborough Athletic on Wednesday and Wessex League Hamworthy United yesterday. Shildon’s story wraps up the special coverage 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.

FSIF in numbers
Grants awarded since 2000: 2,268
Grant value since 2000: £154m
Overall project costs since 2000: £954m
Grants awarded 2018/19: 202
Grant value 2018/19: £8m
Football Stadia Improvement Fund Shildon

Shildon chairman David Dent, centre, Luke Molyneux, right, and Cllr Luan Deakin

Case Study 2: Shildon AFC
Shildon AFC are eyeing promotion up the national league system after FSIF funding helped them to make a series of stadium improvements.

Previously without a covered-seated stand, the Railwaymen’s Dean Street stadium was deemed not fit to meet the standards of Step 4 or indeed 5 of the country’s football pyramid. This left them unable to progress and, if their existing stand deteriorated further, meant they risked being relegated to Step 6 unless they complied.

However, a £57,027 grant from the FSIF enabled them to construct a fully inclusive 200-capacity seated stand, purpose-built to house disabled spectators and significantly enhance the viewing experience of fans.

Shildon chairman David Dent said: “This investment is a real statement of intent from the club and demonstrates where we are looking to progress both on and off the field to ensure this club reaches its full potential.

“We have been working increasingly closely with other organisations, providing playing opportunities to children as young as six. And we have just recently partnered with Spennymoor Town, whose Ladies team will play their games at Dean Street.

“This investment helps us have a sustainable base to move forward, protecting the status of our club and help us sustain and grow our fantastic base for wider participation.”

For more information visit fsif.co.uk.

This article was brought to you by The Non-League Paper, the UK's best-selling football title on the newsstand, on-sale every Sunday.
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