New 800-seat stadium for historic football club helped by £870,000 grant
- Credit: Archant
In February, construction of a new football stadium and state-of-the-art 3G pitch in Gorleston was given the go-ahead after nearly £900,000 worth of funding made it possible.
Gorleston Football Club, in conjunction with East Norfolk sixth form (EN), secured a grant of £870,860 from the Premier League, the FA and the government's Football Foundation to build a new sports complex on EN school grounds.
The ground will be built on the site of East Norfolk Sixth Form College (EN), and will be used by students at the college - creating a footballing hub for the community.
The long-awaited new site will come with two new changing rooms, a social space, two stands and a full-size pitch - and will serve the school and community as well as Gorleston FC.
At a meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee meeting in December last year, it was agreed GFC's currently "unviable" home, Emerald Park, would be torn down to make way for 97 houses.
In a statement posted to their website, the club said the move would not have materialised without a £400,000 investment from Emerald Park's landowners, Albert and Aaron Jones.
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At the development meeting in December, the family offered their guarantee that the demolition of the old grounds would not begin until work at the new grounds began.
The club has played at Emerald Park for 35 years but dwindling crowds and increasing maintenance costs have made it unsustainable for Gorleston FC to remain there.
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One of the oldest clubs in Norfolk, Gorleston FC is thought to have been formed between 1884-1887.
Initially they wore crimson shirts and blue shorts, earning the nickname of 'the Cards', before switching to green and white in 1903.
Their first trophy came in the 1906/07 season when they won the Norfolk Junior Cup. Soon after, they gained membership to the senior Norfolk and Suffolk league, winning multiple trophies before helping found the Eastern Counties League in 1935.
In 1980s, the club moved from Gorleston Recca to Emerald Park. While exciting, it placed financial stress on the club.
Their most recent trophy was the 2014 Norfolk Senior Cup, but with a new 3G pitch on the horizon the future can only get brighter.