AN ORGANISATION with £1 million to spend on Uttoxeter has made a donation that will help sport continue to grow in the town.
The Heath Big Local (HBL) has given more than £23,000 to Uttoxeter Town Football Club.
The club can now bring Oldfields Sports Ground up to scratch for the Midlands League after recently securing promotion.
Having already spent £74,000 on a barrier around the pitch, a stand, a hard standing area and revamping the changing rooms, more work can now go ahead this summer.
Floodlights and another hard standing area will be installed at a cost of £80,000.
Club captain Martin Gadsby said HBL’s cash is ‘essential’ for the club’s long-term plans.
He said: “We’re extremely grateful for the support HBL has shown.
“The club’s completed two successive promotions since beginning life in 2012 and, to ensure progress on the pitch isn’t hampered by our facilities, we’ve invested heavily into Oldfields over the past year.
“This funding’s a crucial part of that.
“It allows us to match that funding against additional grants from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.
“The key is to give young footballers a senior club they can aspire to play for and, with new reserve and Under 18s sides, we can offer an infrastructure to support young talent to progress and represent their home town club.
“All three sides have enjoyed great seasons in their own right but, if the senior side were always restricted to level seven football, then the whole process would eventually stagnate.”
HBL vice chair Zdzislaw Krupski: “The club’s done incredibly well this year, far ahead of what they expected.
“This is testament to their skill, determination and hard work and we’re pleased to be able to present this funding to them. Many of the players and their families are from the Heath area. The upgrades are important so the Club can continue up the leagues.”