£2,500 grant will ensure Tensfield is pitch perfect
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A DALE football club has been given a £2,500 boost to ensure its pitch is in tip-top condition when action resumes.
Bowes FC has received one of 62 grants totalling £142,500 made to 42 clubs across County Durham from the Football Foundation, a charity funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England.
The many can be used to pay for any aspect of improving the playing area at the club’s Tensfield ground, in Barnard Castle, including fertilising and grass cutting, aerating, turfing and killing weeds.
However, it can’t be used to improve facilities or buy equipment such as goalposts and nets.
Bowes FC chairman John Close said the money would be spent continuing the work which has transformed the ground since the club moved to Tensfield from Shaw Bank.
During that time, the pitch has been increased in size, new fencing has been put in place and waste ground improved. He said the grant would help pay for ridding the playing surface of weeds and carrying out vertical decompaction – a way of improving aeration of the soil.
“The pitch is looking amazing at the moment. We have just got to get back playing,” he said.
The club plays in the Saturday Crook and District League and under current guidelines, it is unlikely the new campaign will begin before September.
Robert Sullivan, interim chief executive of the Football Foundation, said that whenever grassroots football was given the green light to resume, it was important pitches were in good condition.
“Our national game is a proven driver of mental and physical health benefits, so it’s important local pitches are match-fit in the event that the Government announces it’s safe for the game to start again,” he said
John Topping, company secretary of Durham County FA, added: “We are delighted with the number of grants received from the scheme and in such adverse times it is a boost to have a good news message of support which will help our clubs at grass roots level.
“The Football Foundation pitch preparation fund was specifically set up to help improve football fields and this will go a long with to help clubs financially.”
Clubs are also being given access to the Football Foundation groundskeeping community.
This is a free online resource the foundation has developed with the FA and the Grounds Management Association, containing advice and guidance.
Anyone in Durham FA can sign up at https://thefa.hivelearning.com/groundskeeping.