Belper Town have high hopes for the future as ground renovations continue

Out with the old, in with the new. The old scoreboard at Belper Town. (Credit - Seb Mannell)

Belper Town are aiming to make the Raygar stadium the most attractive ground in non-league football.

Most people assume non-league is full of grounds that are falling apart with holes in the goal net and a dog running onto the pitch whilst a match is going on. This isn’t the case in Belper, as the Nailers are working tirelessly to ensure the facilities they have are the best in the division.

Despite suffering relegation to the fourth tier of non-league football, Ian Woodward is intent on having the best stadium in step four in order to attract the best players to bolster their push for promotion.

Woodward expects supporters to be impressed with the plans stating: “Our plans to maintain our stadium improvement will continue, despite our loss of status. We know supporters will be impressed with what we have planned.”

Last season, the club added covered standing to the South stand to enhance the experience for visiting supporters.

The club are also in the process of replacing their old scoreboard for a digital one to attract external sponsorships.

An abandoned mill overlooks the Raygar stadium, which you’d associate with old technology and falling behind with the times. However, when you walk down to the ground you’ll be shocked.

The Nailers have a modern ground which is already the best in the division and with the introduction of electronic turnstiles, they’ll take a leap into the future.

In addition to this, the club have acquired the land behind the ground which is a huge investment for the club claims Woodward: “One of the biggest investments is that we have acquired the land behind the club, which is currently being turned into a new grass training area with full and half size pitches.”

Woodward has owned Belper town for five years, in that time the club have been promoted once and consistently challenged for promotion each year. Whilst only halfway through his ten year plan, the club are certainly in good hands under their current chairman.

Over the next few weeks, the home dressing room will be going under renovation to create a more professional environment for their players, in order to attract a squad that will help the club move upwards on the pitch.

Woodward hopes that these improvements will deliver this: “These continued improvements will make the Raygar stadium one of the most attractive grounds in step three and four.

“Hopefully it will help us attract the quality of players needed at the club.”

Last season, the clubs average attendance was 673 despite sitting in the relegation zone for the entirety of the season.

However, with the drop in division, attendances will be expected to drop. But with the new ground improvements, the Nailers are confident that they will be playing in front of crowds above 500 spectators on a regular basis.