Bilston Town Community Football Club is set to be transformed after City of Wolverhampton Council approved a new 35 year lease for its home and adjacent land.

The Community Asset Transfer, on a peppercorn rent basis, will enable the club, which has charitable status, to seek further funding from Sport England, The Football Foundation, The Premier League Development Fund and the National Lottery for 3 projects.

These include the installation of a 3G pitch; conversion of the adjacent land on Queen Street into a car park to support club growth; and the improvement of the facilities at the club.

A 3G pitch is integral to the club’s overall strategy. It will allow football to be played regardless of the weather conditions and will enable the pitch to be used multiple times per day by community groups, schools and colleges. 

The transfer of the adjacent land and its subsequent conversion into a car park will improve safety and security in the immediate area. It will replace the current unsightly and overgrown site with a clean and well maintained car park for the football club, also improving the appearance of the area.

The Community Asset Transfer, subject to terms and conditions, was approved by the Council’s Cabinet Resources Panel last night (Wednesday).

Chair of Bilston Town Community Football Club, Denise Frankham, said: “This is a massive step forward for our long term plans for the football club and our community work.

“A lot of hard work has happened to get to this point - and we wouldn’t be where we are without the support of the Council and our local councillors.

“This Community Asset Transfer will enable us to bid for funding to make our plans a reality and broaden our community work. It also gives the club stability for the future.”

Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, added: “Under its current management the football club Board has consciously and clearly recognised that the role of a football club like Bilston should and must be wider than putting a team on the pitch on a Saturday. 

“The Community Asset Transfer will offer the club the opportunity to widen its remit to support the activities of City of Wolverhampton Council and local community groups, promoting the use of the space for keep fit classes and other forms of physical activity. The club will also seek to improve the social club to make it a safe welcoming space for users, to improve the dressing and changing rooms, and to upgrade the overall spectator experience at the club.

“It will make Bilston Town Community FC a genuinely democratic, inclusive and strategic community asset with an embedded vision to play an active role in building community cohesion through sport and fitness.

“This can only have significant public health and wellbeing benefits for the local community and will boost the local economy.”