While the promotion into Essex’s most revered league was a coop in itself, the club has matched all the league’s specifications, and more, as it strives to develop its facilities to be among the best in the area. Plaudits go to the club’s hard-core band of members, who single-handedly put together the stand-out features of the ground.
Richard Day, Belhus first-team captain, said: ‘We’ve put the building blocks in place for the future. What we’ve done is a great start and something that everyone here is proud of. While we know we’ve done well, we can’t afford to stand still. We need to carry on moving forward.’
New sightscreens, a state-of-the-art electronic score box (inset), tea marquee, roll-on covers (inset) and a restructured pavilion have been put together, with the help of a number of generous sponsors.
ES Veolia Cleanaway Mardyke Trust provided the bulk of the backing, donating £7,000 to the club. Ever willing to promote sports teams in the area since its inception in 1997, the Mardyke Trust has pledged over £3m to teams and local institutions. Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation also made Belhus’s evolution possible, with a generous £2,700 contribution to the club over the winter months.
The club wants to develop further still, with architects’ plans in place to near-on double the size of the pavilion. With a burgeoning youth section and a membership base improving rapidly, further expansion is required. Sponsorship is being sought from the local community, but any offer of support is welcomed.
With the club celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, 2010 will mark something of a celebration. Regularly posting six teams every weekend, for a club of Belhus’s size and funding, it’s a genuine achievement for the local area.