In August 2014 the GESS 3G arena failed the FA compliance test and as such we were informed that no FA affiliated football matches would be permitted to take place on the 3G astro. To resolve this issue the club committed to a 10K maintenance programme by an external FA recognised company that allowed us to re-register the GESS 3G arena, in so doing so we ensured continued use for FA affiliated football matches. In August 2017 the GESS 3G arena was due to be tested, unfortunately it failed the compliance test once again. . The reason it failed was because of the unevenness of the surface across a number of locations within the pitch falling outside of the FA recommended tolerance levels (10mm +/-). The degree of failure meant that an extended maintenance commitment by the club would have no impact on the surface variation and so we were informed that as of September 2017 no FA affiliated matches could take place on the GESS 3G arena. After much discussion with Hunts District Council we submitted a joint request to the FA asking for an extension that would allow the club to continue to use the GESS 3G astro until the end of the current season (May 2018). This was granted but only on the condition that we continue to commit to a first class maintenance (as before) programme and replace the current GESS 3G arena by May 2018, this we agreed to do- not that we had much choice. So, moving forward, I would like to thank Martin Grey and Hunts DC for their support. I'd also like to thank the FA for granting us the 10 month extension without which the most probable outcome would have been the closing of the clubs academy as well as having a catastrophically negative impact on our ability to run the scholarship programme and our community programme.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE GESS 3G Arena renovation, replacement, refurbishment and modernisation.
In a nutshell, we need your help. So far, with the help of Hunts DC, Mick George and our own input, we have already raised an outstanding 208K but with the overall projected refurbishment and replacement cost coming in at approx 260k we still have some way to go. We have quotes already in place that mean the money raised thus far will go most of the way to rectify the foundation issue (replace dynamic compressed hardcore with Porous Macadam) and replace the carpet however in order for us to refurbish the changing block and to modify the 3G astro cage, so that we can introduce a viewing area, we need to raise the balance of approximately 50K by May 2018. We are continuing to look into funding avenues but there is no guarantee we will be successful.
A Crowd funding page has been set up by the clubs Community Committee to try and help raise funds so that we can complete all refurbishments and alterations necessary to provide the very best Sport facility for miles around. This will not only benefit the club and it's gift of use partners it will also be hugely beneficial to the community at large. This fund will be managed by the Community Committee.
Gift of use initiative explained
The Gift of use initiative has been active for a number of years, It's the clubs way of putting something back into the Community by gifting (free of charge) use of the clubs GESS 3G arena and club house facilities.
Who has benefits from our gift of use programme?
Below are just a few who have benefitted from our gift of use programme. Huntingdon Primary School, Hemingford Grey Primary School, The St Neots Learning Partnership and St Neots 6th Form, Priory Junior School, Eynesbury COE Primary School, St Neots Town Youth FC, Samuel Pepys School, Friday walking Football Group, Priory Parkside friends, St Neots Community Vet's FC, Huntingdonshire FA, Bedfordshire FA, Cambridgeshire FA, England talent pathway FA Regional Programme, Hunts Youth League, Hunts School Sports Partnership, One Leisure St Neots, Tri-Club St Neots, Charity groups and fundraising organisations
All have been gifted (FOC) use of the clubs facilities over the last 2 years with the vast majority being gifted use on an ongoing regular bases.
GESS 3G Arena May 2018 It is our intention to re-Launch of the GESS 3G arena as "The GESS 3G Arena, Hunts Football Facility" in partnership with St Neots Town FC, St Neots Learning and Sports Academy, Hunts District Council and The St Neots Learning Partnership (SNLP)
Our Commitment for 2018 and onwards
As well as continuing to support those that currently benefit from our gift of use programme our objective for 2018 (and beyond) is to engage and expand so that even more can benefit from working with St Neots Town FC We are also very excited to announce that we will be offering a Primary school Leaders award programme from Sept 2018