Just over a week after winning a Buildbase bursary, Shoreham FC are already hard at working improving their facilities.
The Southern Combination Division One side, along with Basford United, won £25,000 in building materials in the final round of funding from the 2020 Buildbase £100k Transfer Deal programme.
And Shoreham have already started renovating their main changing rooms at the 2000-capacity Middle Road and will also use the bursary to develop a new one catering for girls.
“The Buildbase £100k Transfer Deal is vital for our survival,” says co-chairman Stuart Slaney.
“In order to improve and serve the community we usually rely on donations, so this kind of lump sum in building materials is life changing. We can also now spend our own funds, originally set aside for maintenance, on bills or other projects.
“We'll use the grant to repair our main changing rooms - which have been slowly damaged by the winter weather and now need a new roof - and invest in women’s football. We have a 30-foot cabin that we are currently turning into a changing room for girls.
“We will also renovate our West Stand by adding block seating. The previous seats had badly corroded, so we recently had to close the stand. Now we can reopen it and in doing so improve the matchday experience. It will also allow parents, during youth matches, to sit behind the goal and watch their kids.”
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped Shoreham getting straight to work and, as a result, they hope to complete most of the improvements by early July.
With his college shut, Slaney’s 17-year-old son Luca - who plays for Shoreham's under-18s - has been helping his dad make immediate use of the bursary.
“We've really come together as a family during this difficult time,” says Slaney. “Luca and I have been getting up every morning, seven days per week, and spending three or four hours working at the club. He's pretty much painted everything in sight, including the turnstiles, floodlight box, clubhouse and main changing rooms. I think he's found a vocation as a handyman!
“Luca also has a keen interest in media. Last season we built a TV gantry and he helped film, edit and commentate on games. Right now, he shoots daily time lapses of the renovations so we can showcase our progress and update the community on social media. I think we're the first Buildbase grant winner to do this.”