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The long road back to Beverley for town’s football club

Back home . . . Beverley Town returning to Norwood this Saturday

There has been an extensive programme of works undertaken since Beverley Town last played a game at Norwood Park some 18 months ago. As part of Beverley Town Cricket and Recreation Club, and in partnership with the cricket section, the club has been successful in four separate grant applications to Sport England and East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Commuted Sums programme.

The first development was to erect a new, second, changing facility and refurbish the existing main changing rooms. The development was required, as the main changing rooms were too small and the second changing rooms were effectively a shack and not fit for purpose, with no showers available.

The project started back in 2014 and resulted in a £75,000 grant from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund and £47,000 from Commuted Sums. Jim Maske, of Specialist Building Services, undertook the work for the club, which was completed within budget and provided a fantastic service, finishing in April 2017. The cricket section have benefited from these for two seasons but in August 2018 works started on levelling the football pitch and the second cricket outfield.

The pitch was in dire need of improvement, with massive variations in the levels, due to the field reverting to the ridge and furrow effect of farming. This made playing football and cricket very difficult.

The project started  with the Institute of Groundmen, in partnership with the East Riding County FA, assessing the football pitch in May 2015. Following this the club was successful in being awarded £75,000 from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields Fund and £65,000 from Commuted Sums.

A spokesman told us: “We engaged Chappelow, a Yorkshire-based firm, to undertake the works and, in August 2017, they relaid the pitch and installed drainage . Despite the very wet winter followed by a very dry summer, Chappelow have managed to produce a pitch that has recovered well and now looks fantastic in preparation for our first game.”

Club volunteers undertook all the project planning and implementation work itself, with advice sought from Pete McCabes, of AVAM Ltd’s Grant Application Consultancy Company for the Sport England Grants.

The club has also just received planning permission to erect a 54-seater covered stand. The stand will be dedicated to Ivan Usher, a well known PE teacher and gym owner from the town who impacted many sportsmen’s lives. His son, Greg, and widow, Hilary, have worked tirelessly to raise money to fund the stand, which the club hopes to have in place in the next few months. This particular project also received a further £10,000 from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Commuted Sums.

The club spokesman told us: “The improvements to the club as a whole form the foundation of ensuring a good football facility is available in the town for years to come and ensure the longevity of the club. The club has a wide junior programme and now a facility that all local footballers should want to play football on.

“The club is hopeful to improve further and develop a facility that is able to be used in the next step up the football league pyramid. To achieve this further funding and improvements, significantly floodlights, would be required.”

He continued: “It has been a difficult period for the players and supporters of the club to attend home games, which were played at Hutton Cranswick, who showed great hospitality to the club. It is hoped that supporters will return to the club and follow the club again. The new pitch should allow some high quality football to be played.”

The first game back at Norwood Park is a cup game against Westella and Willerby First XI this Saturday (November 10), kick off at 2pm.