Stamford AFC and New College Stamford hope their new stadium and sports centre will involve all aspects of the community.
The football club will hold an open evening at the Borderville Sports Centre in Ryhall Road between 6pm and 10pm tomorrow (Friday).
The development is a joint venture between the Daniels, New College Stamford and Burghley Estates. The club hope the new complex, which features classrooms, a sports hall and outdoor all-weather pitches, will involve all sections of the community whether they follow football or not.
Chairman of the Daniels Football Development Centre Ian Evley said the move to the new ground was a “facilitator for becoming involved in the wider community.”
He added: “We are looking to provide a sustainable environment for community use for current and future generations.
“It’s ideal. We have three key stakeholders in the fabric of the town and the region as a whole. We are very much involving Rutland in this.
“That community aspect is fundamental. The football club must be a 365-day facility.”
Daniels fans will undoubtedly be impressed by the new home for the Evo-Stick Northern Premier side. Known as the Zeeco Stadium, the first team pitch has two covered stands - one seated and one standing - with further standing areas around the sides.
There is a first floor bar and balcony where supporters can enjoy a pre-match drink with great views of the pitch. The club’s young players will also benefit from grass and all-weather training pitches within yards of the first team pitch. The club hopes the all-in-one complex will mean youngsters identify more with the club and stay with the Daniels all the way to the senior side.
But the Borderville complex is not solely football-focussed. Thanks to the collaboration with New College Stamford, it also includes a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly sports hall. The sprung wooden floor has markings for a range of sports, from netball and badminton to futsal and roller derby. The hall will be the home of the Borderland Brawlers roller derby team along with a number of sports teams and leagues. The hall and first floor classroom areas will also be used by college students, who will also be able to relax in a bistro overlooking the sports hall.
The all-weather 3G pitches will also be available for private hire and other sports clubs and organisations. A Soccer Sixes football league is due to start on Wednesday evenings.
“Lifestyle management is changing,” said Mr Evley. “We want to provide the opportunity for people to make a positive, healthy choice, but also a social choice as well.”
The club’s history, which stretches back more than 100 years, will still be retained in the new ground through stand names and memorabilia.
Director of football Guy Walton added: “We have said numerous times that it is an exciting stage for the Daniels. There is a lot of history at the current ground but the future of the club is now secured.
“The old ground is reflected in the new stadium. We had to take on the historical element and integrate it.”
There are still one or two administration matters to resolve before an official opening date for the complex can be set. But the club hopes to see plenty of people at the open evening between 6pm and 10pm tomorrow.
Football fans will also get the chance to see the FA Cup trophy ahead of Saturday’s Second Qualifying Round tie against local rivals Grantham Town at Kettering Road.
The weekly Sunday car boot sale will also relocate to Borderville from next Sunday. Club director John Burrows said: “While we wait for the pitch to be declared ready to play on, we want to start using the excellent new facilities at Borderville.
“We are launching the new bar and function room to supporters and sponsors this evening and the car boot sale this Sunday will be the last at Kettering Road. From next Sunday, October 5, the car boot sale will be held on the car park at the Borderville Sports Centre.
”Everything which is good about the current car boot sale will continue. There will be the usual large range of items on sale from stallholders, sellers and visitors will be able to get their breakfast roll and tea or coffee and Sandra Duncomb will still be there to welcome everyone. But rather than a cramped rough shale surface there is a brand new large tarmac car park.
“Most Sundays there will be room for visitors to park in the car park and Travis Perkins have kindly agreed with the club that their car park can be used as well”
As a thank you to those who use the car boot sale at Kettering Road, every stall holder with a pitch at the last sale this will have a free pitch at the first sale at Borderville the following Sunday.
During the planning phase of the development local residents expressed concern about being disturbed by the early start. John said “We understand that concern and we are happy to change the start time. Instead of starting at 6am as we do now, the gates at Borderville will be opened at 7am.”