Land regeneration and property development company, Harworth Group, has pledged £115,000 to a Northumberland junior football club to kick-start and enable a fundraising campaign to build new facilities and provide more grass-roots sporting opportunities for youngsters, to be realised.
The donation, matched with further contributions from Northumberland Council, charities and other organisations, has enabled development work to start at Ellington Juniors Football Club that will significantly enhance existing facilities, create three new football pitches, as well as offer additional community-based sports to young people in the area.
Plans also include a new clubhouse with improved changing rooms and social facilities accessible to local residents, two new, full-size football pitches and one smaller, nine-a-side pitch to be used by the under 11, under 16 and senior teams as well as 3G multi-use games area and winter training pitches. Construction is now well underway with completion of project coinciding with the Club’s 30th anniversary later in the year.
The new facilities will also provide a much-needed community venue that will offer social space and organised events for local residents including holiday clubs and older generation ‘walking football’ groups.
Sarah Gair of Ellington Football Club commented, “This is a dream come true for Ellington Juniors, the Club and the wider community and is a great way to mark 30 years since its formation back in 1988. Without the continuous support from Harworth, the fundraising campaign to upgrade and improve facilities may not have got off the ground but with their backing, we now have fantastic, first-of-its-kind facilities currently in development that our budding young footballers can enjoy for years to come.
“This is a momentous year for the Club and one that will become a milestone in the future of Ellington Juniors and the local community. We hope to get more young people active and involved in football at grass roots level and this will certainly allow us to do so.”
Harworth Group has a well-established relationship with communities in South East Northumberland as well as the County Council having plans to bring growth and inward investment to an area where the closure of traditional manufacturing and coal mining industries has had a significant impact on the economy.
The company is currently constructing over 400 new residential properties in Ellington in conjunction with Ascent Homes, with approximately 50% of phase one now sold, and is also regenerating the former Alcan smelter site at Lynemouth into Lynefield Park, a multi-million pound industrial park.
Chris Davidson, Associate Director of Harworth Group added, “We have always placed community engagement at the heart of our developments and by working closely with the residents, parish councillors and local stakeholders, we can pave the way for new facilities like this to come to fruition. Ellington Juniors Football Club is a great example of how businesses like Harworth can make a difference and by supporting those communities, we can provide much-needed facilities and create successful, close-knit communities that thrive.”
Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland Council added, “We were 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.”