An amateur football club in North Wales has avoided “relegation”, thanks in part to Welsh Slate and its parent company the Breedon group.
Blaenau Ffestiniog Amateur FC had just won promotion from Tier 4 to Tier 3 when the Football Association of Wales (FAW) set a grounds criteria for Tier 3 for the 2020/2021 season that it couldn’t meet.
The criteria required a stand with 100 seats, crowd barriers all around the pitch and hard standing of concrete or tarmac along one length and one width of the pitch – facilities that would have cost the club almost £50,000 to install, and the deadline for grant aid had been and gone.
The club’s Dafydd Wyn Williams said: “We didn’t have anything approaching one tenth of that but we decided we were not going to just roll over and accept our fate and that we were going to give it our best shot. To do this we literally had to beg, steal and borrow and had to involve local businesses and volunteers who were mainly made up of the playing squad, club officials and supporters.
“This is where Breedon stepped in by kindly donating 90 tonnes of sub-base which was used to form the base of the hard standings and the steps in the stands to place the seats on.”
Following the laying of the slate aggregate and an inspection by the FAW the club was awarded its Tier 3 licence and given its place in the FAW Tier 3 North West League for the 2020/21 season.
Dafydd added: “Considering we received no grant funding from the FAW, it is a massive achievement to have achieved the standard and in a relatively short space of time. This goes to show just what can be achieved when the community and local businesses come together. We will be forever grateful to Breedon because without their kindness we would never have achieved our goals.”