A FOOTBALL club is celebrating after being awarded a grant designed to support the sport at grassroots level.

Queensbury Celtic FC received £350,642 from the Premier League and the FA Facilities fund to upgrade the clubhouse and changing facilities.

The money will enable the club to offer its players and visitors a purpose-built facility with a disability-friendly clubhouse and up-to-date changing areas.

The development will include two new changing rooms, toilets, a social area, kitchen and meeting room.

It will be fully accessible for people with disabilities and include improved access to the club’s existing indoor sports hall.

This will replace the current outdated timber clubhouse which was originally designed as a chicken shed.

It’s hoped the project will help increase participation of girls, those with disabilities and older people.

Robin Naylor, Club Secretary at Queensbury Celtic FC, said: “Queensbury Celtic FC currently provide weekly activities at our Pit Lane site for 300 young footballers throughout the year.

“It’s fantastic news that we can now provide these boys and girls, their parents and the local community with a modern, fit-for-purpose clubhouse to replace the chicken shed we have used for the past 30 years - as it is well past its sell-by date.”

He added: “The new facility will help us to extend our activities, hopefully to include disability football, more involvement of girls and older people, coach training and use by the local community.

“Queensbury Celtic is enjoying its 40th anniversary this year and now this new facility will ensure our continued provision of quality grassroots sport well into the foreseeable future.”

He said the project would not have been possible without the funding from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund, plus support from other partners including the Charity Bank, Sovereign Health Care and West Riding County FA.

The club said it had taken “years of planning and 18 intense months of work behind the scenes”, but work is due to begin next month.

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Since 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded 543 grants worth £19.9m across Yorkshire towards grassroots sports projects worth £39.4m and it is great to hear that Queensbury Celtic FC will be the latest beneficiary.

“Funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Foundation, will support the club in developing a brand new clubhouse for the local community.

“Made possible by investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, the Fund is supporting the grassroots game by improving access to high-quality football facilities across the country.”

For more information about the club, visit facebook.com/QueensburyCeltic