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Lancaster amateur football club aims to raise £25K for ground upgrade

A football club in Lancaster aims to raise £25,000 to improve the club’s facilities and they are already more than halfway there.

Storeys of Lancaster FC want to extend their pavilion and the clubhouse as well as adding new fencing.

This is the latest ambitious plan for a local community club that only wants to grow further.

The club say these improvements can only go ahead if the target is met. At time of writing, a crowd-funder had raised more than £18,000.

Speaking to Beyond Radio, their head of senior football Steven Stirzaker said: “We’ve done successful crowd-funders before and had plenty of support from the community and the club.

"We’ve been making improvements for the last four or five years now and last year we raised about £10,000.”

The West Lancashire League club's 2021 donations helped them to renovate both the interior and exterior facilities, including the pitch, signage and security. They have also been able to make changes to the changing rooms and heating thanks to recent funding, both from the local community and club staff.

The club suffered a setback late last year though when the club’s main site was damaged as a result of storms. However, thanks to hard work from volunteers, club members and locals over the last 12 months, the building is recovering.

“The support we’ve had from locals and the club itself has been absolutely massive," said Steven.

"Even when we have maintenance or tidy-up days, we probably have about 20 volunteers who help out. We have people who walk their dogs in the local area who message us and say the place has never looked better than what it does now and that’s all down to people committing time and money to help out.”

The club wants to grow and aim to play in higher leagues and Steven believes that the improvements they’re making to the facilities will attract a high standard of local players.

“If your facilities are poor, it doesn’t encourage young people or adults alike to play so if we continually keep improving what we’ve got then it’ll be a good place to play.

"We want people to look at our pitch and think ‘wow, I’d love to play football there’.

"The crowd-funder is massive because if we can achieve the target we can try and attract some of the best players in the local area. We’re in the West Lancashire League Division 2 but we want to get to their Premier Division, but who’s to say we can’t progress to North West Counties League after that? Garstang did that a few years ago.

"We’ve also got a great academy coming through now so things are looking positive.”

Steven also emphasised how important local football can be to people’s well-being.

“We’re providing a facility for people to get out there and play football in a professional way which can improve people’s health and mental health, in a safe environment too, so I think that’s really important. Everything we do is for the good of the community..”

It is hoped that the crowd-funder will gain support from different foundations and groups too.

“If we pledge a certain amount, it’s matched by another foundation – the Football Foundation, for example.

"We have to prove that we can raise a certain amount of funds and then they’ll contribute the rest. The Football Association and The National Lottery do similar things. If we can show that we are doing our bit, they’ll potentially match it or maybe donate more.”

You can contribute to the crowd-funder here.

Storeys Football Club is one of the oldest amateur sports clubs in the area of Lancaster. Originating as a works team from the world famous Storey Bros of Lancaster, the club's playing history can be traced back as far as 1887.

The club has more than 200 active members across all age groups, from boys and girls as young as four years old right the way up to senior players.

Storeys of Lancaster are one of a number of local teams whose fixtures are included in the weekly ‘What’s On: Sport’ piece, so keep an eye out for their forthcoming games!

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