North Derbyshire Youth Football League (NDYFL), which has more than 300 teams and 3,500 youth players, has secured funds for land and facilities from Co-operative and Community Finance (CCF) and Charity Bank.
It has agreed the freehold purchase of a site in Hollingwood, Chesterfield, with 8.87 acres of land to create a brand new headquarters and sports and social club.
NDYFL, which has been running since 1947, currently spreads its activities across three smaller venues in Matlock, Chesterfield and Clowne. Securing the Hollingwood site will increase its capacity to accommodate new teams and develop and diversify youth football, as well as providing space for function rooms and facilities for member clubs and the wider community.
Kevin Lloyd-Evans, lending and relationship manager at CCF, which is supporting the league through its Co-op Loan Fund, said: “We are really pleased to have invested in NDYFL. When they came to us, they were struggling to navigate the complicated maze of repayable finance. We were able to help by putting them in touch with support from Co-operatives UK and the Access Foundation’s Reach Fund.
“By working with Charity Bank, we were able to leverage in significant experience, skills and additional finance to really add value to NDYFL’s investment experience. Our partnership model is a growing feature of our work. It enables us to support clients better and add value through the investment process.”
NDYFL chair Andy Bagshaw said: “Attracting funding for a volunteer-run organisation was a challenge. Many weeks of discussions with our bank and other finance companies ultimately failed to result in the investment we needed. We came across (CCF) and they changed our whole perspective on what was achievable.
“Kevin Lloyd-Evans and Tim Coomer were immediately supportive and guided us on taking advice from Co-operatives UK as well as helping us secure the finance we needed to complete the project. At all times we felt that CCF were on our side and could see the aims and importance of having our own facilities to provide youth football for hundreds of local children.”