We will use any additional money raised to effect extensive improvements to our ground and social club: complete replacement of a better entrance for emergency vehicles (currently unusable), secure a new building and utilities for our club office (now condemned and needs demolishing), a new building for the ground staff and their equipment (an old shed has had to be demolished), and further improvements to our social club (Canary Club) such as upgrading the fire doors and electrics.
Hitchin Town Football Club can trace its formation back to 1865 and the original Hitchin FC club survived until 1911. The Club reformed in 1928 as Hitchin Town and since then has played a prominent part in the local community. We are an inclusive club and a community club that has raised thousands of pounds for charities and good causes. As well as the first team we have over 200 youth players involved in our youth section, two ladies teams and an Ability Counts team. Over the years the Club has faced many challenges, none more so than when the "Save Top Field" campaign was launched to prevent developers building a supermarket on our Top Field stadium in 2014. The campaign was successful, as the local community got behind the club with over 1,000 people attending a protest march. Top Field was saved and a long term lease was granted.
It was obvious the Top Field infrastructure was in dire need of renovation but because of lack of finance a "make do and mend philosophy" had to be adopted whereby only essential safety work could be undertaken. Profits from the 2018-19 FA Cup run were used to carry out essential modernisation of the Social Club and it was hoped this would increase profitability and that the extra profits would go towards improving Top Field. There was a definite improvement with bookings of the social club increasing but then along came the Covid-19 pandemic and overnight all our revenue streams were wiped out.
The awful weather over the last year has not helped, as the January storms in particular wreaked havoc at Top Field causing extensive damage that was totally beyond our control. The Covid-19 pandemic was then a further body blow to the Football Club at a time when we could ill afford more bad news.
We have explored all avenues to raise revenue and reduce costs but unfortunately Top Field desperately now needs an immediate investment of £25,000 to carry out essential health and safety work. We hope that supporters, followers and local residents can help us raise this amount. This includes total replacement of part of the main stand's roofing, all of the perimeter fencing on more than two sides of the ground, and structural repair to one of our buildings in the ground. There is much more, but these are the "must do" projects before we can go on.
We will not pass our next ground grading assessment if this essential work is not done and this would mean instant relegation. We need the £25,000 to ensure we can retain our current status and to enable supporters to have a safe environment in which to watch football at Top Field. We are still absolutely committed to getting a new stadium for Hitchin Town Football Club and we believe we are in a very good position for this to happen in the foreseeable future. However it is still imperative that the current stadium is fit for purpose until the new stadium can be built.
Hitchin Town Football Club is an essential part of the local community. No other local event attracts the level of support that the Football Club generates while we have gained great publicity for the town with national media interest in our FA Cup runs. When we hosted the draw for the first round of the FA Cup in 2018 it was shown not just on national television but across the globe.
Here’s the full list of essential works we’re looking to complete:
- Main Stand Roof
- Internal Rebuild of Old Tea Bar
- Perimeter Fencing around Top Field
- Fishpond Road Stand timber repairs
- Concrete Path Repairs
- Current Tea Bar Canopy Replacement
- Canary Club Office Wall Repair
- Changing Room Toilet Repairs
- Covid-19 Compliance Work for Spectator Admission
So please help us to raise the £25,000 we need and support our Crowdfunder appeal by donating and/or sharing this page as much as you can. Thanks for any help you can give.