10:00AM, Friday 05 May 2017
Maidenhead United are to spend £160,000 on their York Road home ground to prepare for life in the National League.
The club, which secured promotion with victory over Margate on Saturday, the last day of the season, is looking to make a raft of improvements at its York Road base before the new term starts in August.
Following the win, chairman Peter Griffin announced plans to spend about £160,000 on the side’s ground, widely recognised as the oldest continuously-used association football ground in the world, and home to the Magpies since 1871.
He said: “The work is centred around getting more toilets and food facilities into the ground and getting a faster flow around the ground.
“There are currently pinch-points where people have to queue and wait.
“Obviously that was done because our crowds were getting a lot bigger and we’re
catering for the fact that more people are coming on match days and we want people to be there, spending money and having a good time.”
Much of the project is expected to be funded by a grant from sports charity the Football Foundation.
A stellar season has seen bumper crowds at York Road, culminating in a 3,337 sell-out for last month’s crunch tie against title rivals Ebbsfleet United.
As well as being good for the club, it’s proved a boon for the town centre too.
Maidenhead town manager Steph James revealed the Ebbsfleet match on Saturday, April 22, had prompted a bump of 34 per cent in footfall figures compared to the same weekend last year.
Week-on-week statistics also climbed 61.6 per cent – potentially indicating promising times ahead.
“We’re definitely hoping it will continue and it’s really nice to see the fantastic atmosphere in the town,” she said.
“We saw it last year when they had the televised match [against Port Vale on November 19 in the FA Cup first round].
“Seeing everyone out in their kits and the pubs buzzing, it brings a real buzz to the town. It’s a bit of good news and we hope it will raise the profile of the club in the town too.”
Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside), the leader of the Royal Borough, also praised the team’s achievements and promised to work with club bosses.
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