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  • Writer's pictureChris Woods

Ground Grading and DCMS Funding Application

In advance of the 31st March deadline, the club are very pleased to announce that after our recent inspection we believe the Vale has met all the criteria in order to be awarded an ‘A’ grading. This allows us to continue to play at National League level and we expect this to be confirmed by the FA in the next few days.

This is the culmination of many years of hard work however the incredible efforts over the past 12 months, led by Nick Symmons have moved our facilities to this next level. This financial investment of £150,000 now means that as a club we now benefit from:

  • A new stand behind the goal that will hold 230 fans.

  • Additional terracing and paved areas around the ground.

  • 3 new toilet blocks including a dedicated disabled facility.

  • Improved changing room facilities for both teams and referees.

  • A new block for that includes management, treatment, and hospitality options.

  • A supporters first aid point.

  • 2 further turnstiles at the top end of the ground.

  • Multiple segregation points that will allow us to safely allow away fans access whilst maximising attendances.

  • A new tea bar behind the Holywell stand.

  • A host of further smaller improvements.

  • Our approved maximum capacity now stands at 4085

This achievement has only been made possible due to the incredible commitment of our supporters both as volunteers and financial contributors along with our sponsorship partners. The transformation of the facilities from when we arrived at The Vale to the current day should make everyone associated with the club immensely proud.

We can also announce that we have been advised by the Sport England that we are eligible for a loan on the basis of the application made under the Sport Winter Survival Package. This loan will play a critical role in ensuring that the club can continue to operate through the remainder of this season and next season whilst the external environment normalises and we can build our revenue streams at National League level. The loan has a 20-year term on a 2% interest rate with repayments commencing in year-5 after an initial payment holiday.

Whilst the Board have shared their views on the appropriateness of loan funding and the circumstances in which this means of financial support has been arrived at, it is clear from our dialogue with various parties that grant funding will not be made available at the current time. Therefore the Board are recommending that the loan offered is accepted to alleviate both short term and medium term funding challenges. The Board remain committed to ensuring the financial stability of the club and will continue to manage the club’s finances prudently as we seek to build the club’s footprint and revenue streams to ensure both the repayment of this loan but also continued progress on and off the pitch.

The club’s articles limit the borrowing capacity of the club and therefore we will be calling an E.G.M. to seek the approval of the company’s shareholder via the passing of a special resolution, details of which will be sent to shareholders as soon as the details are finalised. If we are to continue our incredible journey, it is critical that shareholders approve this loan.

Thank you as always for your support and stay well. We look forward to seeing all our supporters soon.


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