Housebuilder steps in to help protect Thornbury Town FC

Thornbury Football Club

A leading housebuilder has stepped in to help protect and develop Thornbury Town Football Club, which has faced a significant loss of income due to the Covid pandemic and is forced to put training sessions on hold once more.

Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, which are building hundreds of new homes at nearby Park Farm in Thornbury, have donated £500 to the volunteer-run club’s recent crowdfunding campaign to help cover running costs and to set up a new, dedicated programme called Wildcats for girls aged 6 – 11 at the local sports centre once children’s outdoor sports activities can resume.

Thornbury Town FC runs 18 teams for adults and children in Thornbury and South Gloucestershire, including 4 adult teams and junior teams for girls and boys from 6yrs to under 18s. Since March, the football club has seen its income drop to close to zero due to the loss of all matchday revenue, gate money and bar takings and the cancellation of several major fundraising events.

Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes have made the donation as part of their long-standing commitment to supporting local communities where they are building new homes and facilities. Park Farm is a new development in Thornbury made up of a range of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes. Once complete, there will be a primary school, nursery, health centre and local shops as well as 32 acres of open space and sports pitches.   

With the club’s first £10,000 target to help cover running costs recently reached, this additional donation from Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes will help the club to take forward other ambitious improvement plans including acquiring a new 50 seater stand and extending the clubhouse which is required for Thornbury Town FC to be accepted for promotion to the next level. These renovations will increase capacity for spectators, which will be particularly important to allow social distancing, and improve the matchday experience for all players and spectators now that the club has been able to restart training sessions.

Graham Smith, from Thornbury Town FC said: “We are very grateful to Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes for their generous donation to the club. The impact of the pandemic meant we were set to struggle to cover running costs for the club, let alone begin the important renovations we had planned and our new programmes. We are looking forward to welcoming spectators back to Mundy Playing Fields matches after this next lockdown, and with social distancing, so we are keen to get to work on improving out spectator facilities and the clubhouse – which is crucial to meeting the Ground Grading terms for promotion.”

Andrea Pilgrim, sales director at Barratt Homes Bristol added: “Having supported Thornbury Town FC before, we know how hard they work to bring football to as many people as possible, and it’s exciting to hear about their new programme for girls. When we saw just how much the Covid pandemic had affected the club we were happy to help.”

Louise Ware, sales director at David Wilson Homes added: “Sports clubs like Thornbury FC are a hugely important part of the fabric of a community, which we are committed to supporting and developing where we are building much-needed new homes. Park Farm offers a broad range of new homes to suit all requirements and we’re delighted to be able to support and protect the fantastic football club on its doorstep.”