A Vale of Clwyd football club is looking forward to brighter days and nights after a project to install new floodlights began.
Ruthin Town FC is to illuminate its training pitch as well as its first team pitch, with spectators set to enjoy matches under the lights as soon as restrictions allow the return of crowds.
In addition, the upgrade will enable the facility to meet the Welsh FA’s Tier 1 requirements, which govern what venues can be used in the Welsh Premier.
The project’s £186,000 costs have been met with funding from community funds linked to The Brenig Wind Farm and Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm, both of which were built by club sponsor Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, and Sport Wales.
Jones Bros themselves will be donating concrete for the floodlight foundations, as well as installing ducts for cabling to connect the lights to power, with this carried out by C Williams Electrics and lighting specialists Kingfisher.
Jones Bros contracts director Eryl Roberts said: “This won’t just benefit the club, but the whole town as well.
“We have a long association with Ruthin Town, which is located a stone’s throw from our own head office, and we couldn’t be happier to pitch in and help out where we can. We look forward to being there under the lights as soon as we can.”
The LED floodlights are phase three of a long-term plan to develop the club’s facilities, with phase four involving overhauling the site’s drainage, with an ambitious plan to develop a durable 3G all-weather pitch for the town also on the cards.
Club chairman Andy Edwards said: “We really are so grateful for all partners involved: having the teams training locally is a tremendous advantage and after what has been a difficult year for the club, these improvements will only help us to become more financially sustainable.
“The supporter in me simply can’t wait for Friday night games under the lights. I am extremely proud of this, and without the support of organisations like Jones Bros along with the rest of our fantastic team this vision would be very difficult to pull off.”
The Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm Fund, which is administered by Community and Voluntary Support Conwy, donated almost £100,000.
Fund manager Esyllt Adair said: “The fund is designed to help local communities living in and around the windfarm in Conwy and Denbighshire.
“Ruthin Town Football Club is a vibrant sports club which is taking positive steps to provide the best facilities it can for local people of all ages to play, watch and be involved, and we’re delighted to be able to help them do that.”
The project will also aid the club in what it can offer the town’s young people.
Llyr Jones, chairman of the Brenig Wind Ltd Grants Panel said: “The Brenig Windfarm Community Benefit Fund and Cadwyn Clwyd are delighted to support Ruthin Town FC.
“It’s great that Brenig Wind community funds are supporting the club in its excellent work with some 150 children and young people in the area, from the Mini Star Group which begin football at the club at the age of 4-6 all the way up to the youth section.”