Money well spent to help town football club achieve its goal
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
MONEY well spent – that was the verdict of Barnard Castle’s county councillors who helped fund improvements to one of the town’s sporting facilities.
Bowes FC has transformed the Tensfield ground and changing pavilion since securing the lease from Barnard Castle Town Council in 2017.
The pitch is now well maintained, with improved drainage, and the playing surface is in excellent condition for club members and the local community to enjoy.
The changing facilities have been completely renovated so they are now fit for purpose, secure and regularly in use.
Much of the work has been undertaken by club secretary Geoff Thwaites and volunteer Rob Furness, alongside a multitude of trades people.
The club received £15,000 from the neighbourhood budgets of Barnard Castle’s county councillors – Richard Bell, Ted Henderson, James Rowlandson and George Richardson – who, together with MP Dehenna Davison, went along to see the improvements last week.
The County Durham Community Foundation has also made significant contributions.
Future plans include developing a parking area, so players and officials do not have to park in the residential streets surrounding the ground.
The club also hopes to extend the home and away dressing rooms to include toilets and showers for both teams.
Mr Thwaites said: “We are incredibly grateful to all those who have supported our efforts to transform Tensfield.
“We have put in a lot of hard work to get this far and we are not finished yet, but we all know that without the support of our councillors we wouldn't have achieved what we have done so far. For that we are forever grateful.
“This facility will now provide footballing opportunities for at least another half a century, benefiting countless children and adults who wish to play football in the Teesdale area.”
Cllr Bell said: “It was great for us to see the improved changing rooms, which are the result not only of grant funding but also of many hours of work by the club’s volunteers.
“Good facilities are nicer for the players to use, and they are a prerequisite of competing in football leagues – and the higher you go the better facilities you need.”
Bowes FC changes its name to Barnard Castle Senior Football Club for the 2021-22 campaign as part of ongoing plans to amalgamate with Barnard Castle Junior Football club at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Officials say it is hoped that the amalgamation will unify football in the Barnard Castle area, providing a clear pathway for young players into adulthood, much like the town’s cricket and rugby counterparts.
The two clubs are currently working together to develop plans which will increase participation, improve facilities, develop the club's culture and identity, recruit more volunteers/coaches and provide competition at a higher standard of football for the adult members.