The new football season has delivered improved home comforts for supporters at Marine FC in Merseyside, as the club unveiled a series of stadium improvements prior to their 1-1 draw against Dunston UTS in the league on Saturday (17 August). The upgrades were made possible by investment from the Premier League, which has been delivered by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).
The investment has allowed Marine FC, who play in the Northern Premier League, Division One North West, at Step 4, to demolish a single-storey clubhouse building at the rear of the main stand, which was originally erected in 1929. This has been replaced with a smaller building comprising of three steel-lined modular units.
The new facilities include a kitchen area and servery for spectator use on matchdays, a spectator first aid room and office space in unit one. The second unit features a club shop and counter area, whilst the third unit is a hospitality and seating area, including facilities for disabled spectators. New turnstile units have also been installed at The Marine Travel Arena to give the ground a complete facelift for the new season.
Marine FC have played at The Marine Travel Arena since 1903 and the improvements made to the ground were required to ensure that the club continues to provide the required facilities to adhere to Grade C of the FA National Ground Grading Criteria, applicable to their league position.
The project was made possible by a £82,813 grant from the Premier League, which is delivered through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation.
Paul Leary, Marine FC Chairman, said: “We are really proud to be opening our new facilities funded by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and the Premier League and especially that it coincides with our 125th anniversary. I would like to thank local MPs Peter Dowd and Bill Esterton, Mark Harris, Chairman of the Northern Premier League and Dave Pugh, CEO of Liverpool FA, who were all able to attend our opening ceremony.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “I am delighted to hear that Marine FC have been able to install the various new facilities at The Marine Travel Arena and that this will be of huge benefit to its spectators. This is the first Premier League grant, through the FSIF, that the club has received and it’s excellent to hear of the good that this money is doing.
“The FSIF works to improve the standard of stadia across lower levels of the game, which is only made possible through the investment of the Premier League. This is benefiting players and spectators alike, and I’m glad to hear that Marine FC is amongst them.”