Ambitious plans that include new changing-rooms, floodlights and a 60-seater stand have moved a step closer for LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE FOOTBALL CLUB.
For Linby have been offered a grant of more than £11,000 to support the project at their Church Lane ground in the village.
And they should learn in the next few weeks whether planning permission for the development has been granted by Gedling Borough Council.
Linby is one of the most historic names in Nottinghamshire non-league football. The club even reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup back in the 1950s.
Only two years ago, their very existence hung by a slender thread as they finished rock-bottom of the Notts Senior League (NSL) with only seven points.
But now they are on the crest of a wave.
On the field, Linby’s fortunes were transformed by new managers Dave Marlow and Dave Bradshaw. After a fine 2010/11 season in the NSL, they are currently enjoying a pleasing debut campaign in the Central Midlands League.
Now such progress is set to be matched off the field under the guidance of new chairman Dave Elson and highly-respected, experienced secretary Ady Ward.
The £11,300 grant has been provisionally offered by Notts County Council, from its Olympic Legacy Sports Changer Fund.
And other funding bids, to various organisations, are being collated by Plan 4 Sport, a private consultancy company.
Says Ward: “I have done a bit of research into applying for funding and, as you can imagine, it is a minefield.
“So, involving Plan 4 Sport will be a massive help. They are a professional company, well versed and very experienced in bidding for funding, and they have a superb record in helping clubs of our size achieve their aims.
“The fact that we are an FA Charter Standard club is vital.
“And it’s great that the Football Foundation’s Football Stadi Development Fund will fund up to 70% of major builds.
“I must also thank all the local councillors who have contributed.”
If the planning application gets the thumbs up, the timetable for the development should start in May with the big £18,300 task moving and levelling the main pitch.
The second phase of this would be completed the following May before the erection of state-of-the-art floodlights in June 2014, at a cost of £50,000.
The building of the new dresing-room complex is scheduled to start in May 2015, to be followed 12 months later by the new stand to take the ground up to step-six standard on the non-league ladder.
Meanwhile it has been announced that Marlow is to continue as manager next season. But the club are actively seeking a fully-qualified coach, physio and kit manager to help him.
Jamie Wheatley will also carry on as reserve-team boss, while new matchday secretaries are to be appointed for each team to serve under Ward.
Linby’s under-18s team are to compete in the Chad Mansfield Youth League, while Notts County Ladies, who formerly carried Linby’s name, will continue to use the Church Lane ground.
Ward also plans to produce a glossy, full-colour matchday programme next term.