Little Oakley FC were able to transform their Memorial Park stadium thanks to a grant of £72,962 from the Premier League,delivered through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund. The investment enabled the Essex club to install two brand new spectator stands in line with the relevant FA National Ground Grading Criteria. The development provided the club with even more reason to celebrate, following their promotion to theThurlow Nunn League Division 1 ahead of the 2017/18 season. The club’s upgraded home ground now has capacity for 50 seated and 50 standing spectators,as well as five wheelchair users. For supporter Mick Moules,the improvements have redefined the matchday experience: “I’ve been attending Little Oakley matches for 20 years and it’s quite surreal to finally have the opportunity to watch the game from the comfort of a seat. The funding from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund has enhanced the matchday experience of fans immeasurably and it’s helping to attract more and more supporters every week.” The funding also meant the club could upgrade their existing floodlighting system,dugouts and perimeter fencing. Club Chairman,Michael Good, explained the importance of such work: “This funding from the Premier League has been magnificent. We are a club that is looking to make our way through the divisions, and it is great to know that our facilities off the field now match the ambition of our team on it. “It’s also heartening to know that our supporters have a more comfortable and enjoyable environment from which they can watch the team. “We pride ourselves on being an integral part of the local community, so to be able to attract more fans to our matches will be a huge boost for our club.” LITTLE OAKLEY FC UNVEIL NOT-SO-LITTLE STAND FOCUS ON FOOTBALL STADIA IMPROVEMENT FUND 9 “ IT’S ALSO HEARTENING TO KNOW THAT OUR SUPPORTERS HAVE A MORE COMFORTABLE AND ENJOYABLE ENVIRONMENT FROM WHICH THEY CAN WATCH THE TEAM.”