Duo’s mission to leave a ‘lasting legacy’ in Lancing

The pitch has been transformed over the space of a year SUS-150508-113233001
The pitch has been transformed over the space of a year SUS-150508-113233001

TWO MEN on a quest to ‘leave a lasting legacy’ for Lancing have had their ambitions boosted thanks to county council grant of £12,000.

Glenn Souter and Joe Pannell have been leading the charge to regenerate Lancing United Football Club’s base and pitch, at Croshaw recreation ground, in Boundstone Lane.

We’re not building a football club, we’re building a legacy.

Joe Pannell, co-director of Lancing United Football Club

Since ‘putting their necks on the line’ more than a year ago to take over the lease of the ground, the duo have been instrumental in securing almost £100,000 in cash grants.

Most of that money has been ploughed into bettering the club’s pitch by returfing it, improving the drainage, constructing new fencing and building a brand-new £65,000 headquarters for the team.

Joe, 34, who runs the Barn Caravan Park in the village and is a co-director of the club with Glenn, said: “We’re not building a football club, we’re building a legacy.

“In 14 months we have taken a grass field and transformed it.

“There was a rickety, horrible old Portakabin which was hideous, the pitch was always wet and boggy and now we have cleared that.

“We’ve got new drainage in and so many plans to improve Croshaw. We want it to be a community centre where people are happy to go.”

The latest round of funding was secured through West Sussex County Council’s Big Society Fund.

The grant is designed to regenerate local areas, enhance community facilities and increase local sporting opportunities.

Out of the £155,000 awarded to 14 projects in the first round of 2015-16 cash, Lancing received the sixth highest sum.

Glenn, who has been with the club for seven years, said the duo already have big plans to further improve the pitch.

“We’re a non-profit organisation, so any money we have left over we will pump back into Lancing,” he said. “I’ve lived in Lancing all my life and just wanted to give something back.”

He explained the pair had submitted a second bid to the Big Society Fund for £13,000 to build a new tea hut for the community to use and will find out next month if they have been successful.

“We know that realistically the football club is only there on Saturday, Sunday and training in the week,” he added. “The rest of the time we want to be able to give something to the community for them to use.”

Further plans include installing outdoor gym equipment for residents to use and lighting for the footpath through Croshaw.

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