WORK amounting to over £400,000 is underway at Herns Lane to give our home ground the biggest facelift it has seen in the 48 years that WGC FC have played there.
Thanks to £100,000 from the Premier League funded Football Stadia Improvement Fund, WGC will install two new stands on the ground, not only to meet the Ground Grading F standard needed for them to continue competing in the Spartan South Midlands Premier, where they were fourth last season, but also to meet the E grading they will need if promotion is won.
One new stand will accommodate 120 standing spectators and the second will have 163 seats. Both enclosures will have wheelchair access.
The club are also making major improvements to their clubhouse and changing room facilities, with a new changing block including improved showers, toilet facilities, enlarged dressing rooms and a new physio room.
The Herns Lane clubhouse is also being extended to include an improved kitchen area and bar and possibly a new committee room. A loan from the club's brewers Charles Wells of Bedford, is assisting with these improvements.
Finally, Welwyn Hatfield Council is funding a new community use 3G pitch at Herns Lane. WGC FC teams will have priority use, but the new facility, costing around £200,000, will also be for community use, with priority given to youth, disabled and women's football.
Work begins on the construction of the project very shortly and it is hoped to have it opened in time for the new season.
Among those most excited by these ambitious plans is manager Adam Fisher. He says: "I'm absolutely thrilled with the funding we have received, particularly for the development of the ground.
"This has been something in the making for over a year and just proves where we are now as a club. We very much needed new player and supporter facilities. Once completed, our ground will meet Step 4 grading and will give us the belief that we can hopefully take the club up to that standard for the first time in its history.
"Knowing what was planned at the club played a large part in helping us retain our players from last season and attracting some excellent new additions. We also hope to add a few more shortly.''
"We are also extremely lucky to be having a 3G training pitch built at our ground. This will be a great surface to train on at least once a week and should make a huge difference to us.''
"I would also like to take the time thank everyone who has been part of this process from our club, especially Karen Fisher, Phil Ravitz, Olly Croft and Malcolm Kiely and the rest of the committee who have contributed.''