Former Premier League striker and Newmarket resident, Micky Quinn, officially opened Newmarket Town FC’s £750,000 stadium redevelopment recently thanks to a £96,610 grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
The grant has enabled the club, whose first team play in the Eastern Counties Premier Division, to build a changing pavilion extension, install new floodlights, improve pitch perimeter fencing and replace all stadium footpaths. These facilities will accommodate 31 teams, including seven women’s’ sides. These developments ensure that the club now meet the necessary requirements of the FA National Ground Grading Criteria, helping aid their progression through the football pyramid.
Graham Edwards, Club Secretary of Newmarket Town FC, said:
We are delighted that Micky came along to open the revamped Ridgeons Stadium. The ground improvements have attracted a lot of interest and in the coming season, all of our 31 teams will train and play at the stadium. In addition, we will have Academy players from both Cambridge United FC and Ipswich Town FC using the facilities on a weekly basis.
This is a major event for the club and local community. Part of the stadium redevelopment project has been to install a new cork-filled 3G pitch – only the second full-size pitch of this design in the UK. Our new stadium lighting, manufactured by Osram, is also highly energy efficient through flat glass LED floodlights – we are proud to be the first club in the world to install them.
We are extremely grateful to the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, for their generous grant which has enabled the work to be put in place. It will obviously be of enormous benefit to grassroots football in this area.”
Quinn, who over the span of his 17-year career, amassed over 500 appearances and 200 goals, said:
Having moved to the town 10 years ago it is all about horseracing and the football was detached but now this should bring Newmarket Town FC to the fore. This is the best artificial pitch I have seen, and having opened and been to plenty, this is impressive. With the youth set up here at the club and the chance to progress financially, it is exciting. Opening the pitch as a former Premier League player, let’s hope one from the club makes it to the Premier League in the future.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said:
Newmarket Town FC’s ground improvement works at The Town Ground highlight the Premier League’s dedication to improving grassroots facilities across the country. Money coming from the top continues to filter down to the grassroots, to clubs like Newmarket, who can now enjoy new floodlights, an extended changing pavilion, perimeter fencing and hardstanding, which has improved their home ground significantly.
The floodlights will enable the club to play for more hours and during the darker months, while the extended changing rooms have allowed Newmarket to provide an office and meeting room on top of much improved changing rooms. I would like to thank everyone involved with the project for making it a reality.”