Pontefract Collieries FC and Shildon AFC are this year’s two non-League clubs to share the annual £50,000 Buildbase Community Club Award.
Following a virtual pitch to a panel of judges from Buildbase and the FA, the clubs are each receiving a £25,000 product bursary which covers building, electrical and hire materials to renovate its facilities.
And this year’s winners were judged as much on their community involvement as their investment in football.
At Pontefract Collieries, a new kitchen will help the community food hub set up during the pandemic and continue to provide support to local families, including free school meals during holidays. There are also plans for both parent and baby and pensioner groups.
The club’s other renovation plans include improving changing rooms, showers, toilets and the clubhouse bar. It will also make the facilities more accessible to disabled people, particularly in the seating and toilet areas.
Trevor Waddington and Tom Wiles, chair and vice chair at the club, said: “We'll continue to support and engage with our local community to ensure that Pontefract and the wider, Wakefield district is as strong and vibrant as it can be.
"We're proud to be part of such a fantastic town and we look forward to working with the community in the future to improve the long-term prospects of its people.”
Meanwhile Shildon AFC has plans for a community garden, café and outdoor seating area with wi-fi, which will support its homework club for two local schools.
The outdoor space will also offer a place to walk for the over-60s, bowls and space for kids’ holiday clubs and events. During the pandemic, the club supported the community by delivering food parcels for local charities, organising holiday courses and meals for disadvantaged children and arranging socially-distanced visits for supporters with mental health issues during lockdown.
David Dent, club chairman, said: “This win gives us a new dimension and more flexibility as to how we stage matches. We can house more people on match day and are creating an appropriate, outside space. And this helps many people in the community with the facility being seen as a real asset to the town.”
The clubs succeeded in the Buildbase Community Club Award against Bromley FC and Gosport Borough FC in the Buildbase FA Trophy category and against AFC Portchester and Hanley Town FC in the Buildbase FA Vase group.
Local Buildbase branches will be supporting the clubs with information, advice and supplying the building products required for their projects.
Andy Tompkins, business change director of Buildbase, added: “Non-League clubs have given incredible support to their communities during the pandemic and this is what the Buildbase Community Club Award is all about.
"Pontefract Collieries FC and Shildon AFC are brilliant examples of clubs who have dedicated time and efforts to support local areas and families, while keeping the club going for the return of grassroots football.”
Buildbase has been giving away building materials to help renovate non-League football clubs since it became the title sponsor of the FA Trophy and Vase in 2016.
Updates can be found by following @BuildbaseUK on Twitter #BuildbaseCommunityClubAward, via Buildbase.co.uk or in branch.