FANS attending Weymouth’s first home game of the season against Bath City on Tuesday were able to watch the match from the comfort of the club’s improved facilities at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
The stadium upgrades were made possible by investment from the Premier League, which has been delivered by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).
The project was made possible by a £89,792 grant from the Premier League, which is delivered through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation.
The investment has allowed the Terras, who were promoted to the Vanarama National League South at the end of the 2018/19 season, to repair the roof, replace the seating in the main stand and upgrade their floodlights.
The upgrades and improvements ensure that that the club meet the requirements of Category C for the FA National Ground Grading Criteria applicable to their Step 3 level.
Weymouth’s old floodlights were originally purchased secondhand from Portsmouth FC, consisting of four steel columns with 48 light fittings.
The club were no longer able to find spare parts to service the system and it was considered that it had reached the end of its serviceable life.
The main stand roof had deteriorated over recent years and there was a considerable number of broken seats – all of which needed to be replaced to meet the ground grade required.
Peter McCormick, chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “My congratulations go to Weymouth FC for their efforts throughout this project.
“The FSIF, thanks to investment from the Premier League, works hard to support clubs as they work to move up through the game and this is a great example of what that money can achieve.
“I hope that Weymouth FC are able to make the most of their ground improvements and that their fans enjoy the new, more comfortable spectator provision.
“I’m sure that this project will support the club in further growth, both through developing their players and encouraging more locals to come along for fixtures.”
This follows further good news after the club announced to shareholders before the Bath game that the Terras had bought back almost a third of the land surrounding the ground from Wessex Community Sports LLP (WCSLLP) for just £1.
A new option agreement for a proposed new stadium was in turn granted to WCSLLP until 2024, while a licence for car parking has been afforded to the Terras, enabling supporters to continue to park at the stadium.
WCSLLP are also expected to build a road to separate the new Terras-owned land from retained land outside the main stand.
Terras’ chairman Ian White admitted he had wanted to get the agreement “finished” after lengthy negotiations.