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Premier League brothers open Bromsgrove football club's new facilities
8:10am Wednesday 4th July 2012 in Local
Official opening: Gary and Craig Gardner opened Meadow Park Football Club’s new facilities. Pictured with club chairman Paul Hutchins.
PREMIER league brothers have officially opened a Bromsgrove community-run football club’s new facilities.
Craig and Gary Gardner, who play for Sunderland and Aston Villa football clubs respectively, supported the opening of the new sports pavilion at Meadow Park Football Club, based on pitches to the side of LG Harris brush factory in Stoke Prior on Saturday, (June 30).
The football club, which runs 16 teams used by 250 members from under sevens up to adults, battled back from near closure in 2007.
The Advertiser reported on attempts by youngsters, parents and club supporters to raise the £360,000 needed to build the new facility.
A voluntary fund-raising committee was set up, led by Sarah Stanhope, which managed to raise £73,000 towards the project.
The facility was then made possible after receiving funding from other sources, including a £153,529 grant from the Football Foundation charity, a grant of £84,000 from The Football Association, and £50,000 from Bromsgrove District Council.
The new sports pavilion allows the club to continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for Bromsgrove youngsters, and adults to play regular football.
The state-of-the-art facility includes four changing rooms, two officials changing rooms, a kitchen, and a small clubhouse.
The club has also been boosted by the securing of a long term lease on the site that will protect the future of the sport on the site, for at least the next two decades.
Meadows’ chairman Paul Hutchins said: “I think it is absolutely brilliant that the Football Foundation, local authority and community have contributed such a huge amount of money and effort.
“It is fantastic that together we have recognised the major importance of protecting these sporting grounds and with their help we can provide these types of facilities, not only for the short term, but for generations to come.”