From Town to Town Heritage Project
In May 2014, the Co-operative was successful in obtaining a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant of £45,000, to record the history of senior football in Nuneaton, from 1889 to date. This coincided with the club’s 125th anniversary.
A small band of dedicated volunteers have subsequently spent many hours researching the club’s history, as well as undertaking various community engagements.
A website is at the core of the project and you can watch the story unfold at http://www.fromtowntotown.org.uk/index.html
Following the club’s move from Manor Park, The Supporters’ Co-operative undertook to create a Memorial Garden at Liberty Way.
Volunteers commenced work at the end of July 2011, with the garden being formally opened on 12 November 2011, following a dedication service conducted by the Rev Simon Betteridge.
The project was largely financed by the Supporters’ Co-operative, however, we are indebted to Devall and Son, for donating an impressive marble plinth.
A piece of turf from Manor Park was laid at the rear of the garden to ensure we remember those who had ashes scattered at the former ground.
Registration of Asset of Community value (ACV)
Introduction of new legislation, ie the Localism Act in 2011, presented the Co-operative Board with the opportunity to register the ground at Liberty Way as an ‘Asset of Community Value’. Basically this means that the Co-operative will be given a period of time to consider submitting a bid for the ground if it was ever put up for sale on the open market. An ACV is defined as a building or land which furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community; or that has done so in the recent past.
The process of submitting the application to the local council commenced in March 2013, culminating in successful registration of the land as an ACV in June 2013.
We became the second supporter group in the country to register their club’s ground as an ACV. Oxford United’s Trust became the first group having had their registration confirmed a matter of weeks before ourselves. In the meantime, in excess of 30 supporters groups have completed ACV ground registrations, including Old Trafford and Anfield.
Review of activity for year ending December 31st 2015
The following summary of initiatives and events relating to the previous 12 months.
- Andy Briggs, Supporter Director, attends his first Football Club Board meeting.
- Organised successful Player of the year event with 220 in attendance.
- Reduced membership fee to £2, resulting in 30% increase in membership.
- Continued to hold meetings held with Rugby Club to find resolution to issues with drive and lighting. Researched and presented Grants available to assist.
- Further temporary repairs made to Rugby Club drive.
- ‘From Town to Town’ Heritage project gathers momentum with first e.books loaded onto website. Community engagement with visits to Oakwood and Queens Road Schools and residential care home. 3 x Drop in days arranged at Library and Heritage Centre. Filmed interview with Ken Loach.
- Continued to administer 200 Club, raising £3,200 for Club and similar amount for Supporters’ Co-operative.
- Retro posters produced for Christmas fixture, also distributed around town.
- Vintage Retro shirt based on 1953 kit launched.
- Planning begins for Middlesbrough Reunited 10th anniversary event.
- Co-operative Board members continue to sell 50/50 and Golden Goal tickets for Club, raising further £3000+ .
- Entered Club’s Golden ticket draw for ground naming rights.
- Sponsored Shane Byrne and James Clifton.
- Purchased 2 x tumble dryers for club.
- Ran further fund raisers, including Last Man Standing, quiz at Griff and Coton Sports Club and Christmas raffle.
- Continued to sponsor Youth team, until end of season, man gate and run blackout for their benefit.
- Sponsored playing kit for Under 16 team.
- In addition to keeping members informed via website, two newsletters were published. Maintenance work undertaken to Memorial Garden. Including new plaque for gate.
- Donations made to Mary Anne Evans Hospice and Teenage Cancer Trust.
- Charity auction held to raise £550 for MAE Hospice.
- Co-ordinated race night to raise funds for JDRF charity.
- Submitted regular Co-operative notes for match day programme.
- Organised Remembrance Day service and laid wreath in Memorial Garden.
- Renewed affiliate membership of Football Supporters’ Federation.
- Commenced discussion re new Disabled stand – plans drawn up awaiting costings and presentation to club.