Shildon AFC score grant funding success

A successful funding application by Shildon AFC has seen the club take delivery of a multi-purpose grasscutter, roller and drag mat to help keep the Northern League side’s playing surface in top condition as they compete for silverware in league and cup.

The club has made significant investment in recent seasons off the pitch, with the refurbishment of its clubhouse, improvements around the perimeter of the pitch and it is currently building a new 250-seater stand which is scheduled to open in December.

With previous maintenance equipment beyond repair, the grass-cutter, roller and drag mat was purchased with the aid of a £4,786 grant from the Neighbourhood budget fund of Durham County Councillor, Shirley Quinn, processed by Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership.

Club groundsman, Norman Smith, is delighted with the purchase which he says, saves a huge amount of workload while doing a superior job: “In the past we would have to put our old grasscutter on, which we were having to borrow.

“We would then take that off the pitch and bring on a separate roller to cover the pitch again.

“Now we can do both jobs at the same time and in addition, the new equipment is more economical in fuel consumption.”

Cllr Quinn said: “I was very happy to fund this project.

“Shildon Football Club is forward thinking and improving all the time on and off the pitch.

“As a Shildonian, I’m extremely proud of the football club’s achievements and I’m delighted to play a small part in that by helping with this funding.

Mr Smith added: “The football club is now in a position to generate additional revenue insomuch as the football pitch is able to remain in a playable condition for much longer.

“We have applied for Dean Street to be able to host future regional cup finals, including the prestigious Durham Challenge Cup if two local sides reach the final.

“The club is immensely grateful and we would like to thank Cllr Quinn and the AAP for their invaluable help with this funding.”

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