A football club has celebrated the launch of its new grandstand and clubhouse with a special match.
Ashington Community Football Club (ACFC) competed against Newcastle United XI to celebrate the completion of the club’s £1m investment in a new 250-seat grandstand and clubhouse with spectator and hospitality facilities.
Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, has supported the investment in ACFC’s new facilities which form part of the ongoing regeneration of Ashington town centre and the Hirst Investment Plan where Arch is a major landlord.
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck and ACFC chairman, said: “This is a major step for the Ashington Investment project.
“The ACFC development is providing first class sporting and hospitality facilities that will encourage greater community involvement and improve the sporting experience locally.
“It’s very exciting to see the plans to regenerate and revitalise Ashington becoming a reality.”
Jeff Hope, AkzoNobel’s Ashington site manager, which sponsored the new grandstand, said: “It is fantastic to see the new AkzoNobel stand opening at Ashington Community Football Club – the increased capacity at the ground will mean many more of the club’s fans can now enjoy the game in style.
“Ashington CFC is an important local hub and will be the centre of many events and celebrations over the coming years – it’s something we are very excited to be part of.”
Arch Group chairman and deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, Coun Dave Ledger, added: “We want to create a prosperous county with sustainable economic growth where our local institutions can thrive.
“The ACFC development has been an exciting project for us and offers fantastic new facilities that will not only benefit Ashington but the county as a whole. We welcome anyone from across Northumberland who wishes to use them.”
ACFC moved from the town centre to Woodhorn Lane in 2008 and plays competitively in the Northern League Division One.
The club was formed in 1883, making it one of the oldest clubs in Northumberland. Ashington-born World Cup winning brothers Bobby and Jackie Charlton supported the club growing up and Newcastle United legend Jackie Milburn played for them.