Manningham United Blues FC have received a $300,000 funding grant which will be used for lighting upgrades at the club’s home at Timber Ridge Reserve.
The funding has been provided through a partnership between the local Manningham Council and the Victorian Government, through their World Game Facilities Fund.
The upgrades will see a new 50 LUX LED floodlight system installed at the ground in the coming months, consisting of 4 new LED lighting towers which will light up two full size pitches and a small side pitch at the reserve.
President of Manningham United Blues FC, Mark Giuliani, believes the new upgrades will have a positive impact on the local community.
“Looking at the wider community, the new system will have a significant effect in reducing the lighting-up of neighbouring backyards,” he told Soccerscene.
“Obviously, the lighting system we have now is pretty old and it just sprays light everywhere, whereas LED lighting is very accurate and precise.
“So, in terms of the local residents, that will be the number one benefit for them as they won’t have their backyards impacted.”
The club will also benefit significantly from the improved lighting system in the years to come.
“In terms of us, there’s numerous things I think we are going to benefit from,” Giuliani said.
“One main benefit is definitely the financial aspect, the system we have now is pretty old and each year we spend at least $1000 on globe replacements.
“The running costs will also be better off now that the lights are LED and this will be an important financial gain for us.
“On top of that, we will definitely get a much more even spread and better lighting on that facility now, rather than what we’ve got in the past.”
Giuliani explained that under the new lights, night games will soon be allowed to be hosted at the club’s home ground, which hasn’t been permitted in the past.
This, however, will only apply up to a certain competition grade and will depend on the LUX it will provide.
“We were offered the option to chip in some extra funding to bring it up to a certain LUX for NPL games, but at the moment the club is not in a financial position to make that extra investment,” he said.
“It is however NPL ready, so all the wirings and powering, the lighting towers, the fixtures up in the towers, they will all be ready if we want to upgrade to host NPL games.”
The senior male team currently competes in NPL2 after securing promotion to the NPL system in recent years.
Manningham itself, has a strong, yet relatively recent history. After humble beginnings in 1999 with only a few junior teams initially, the club merged with Fawkner Blues SC in recent years and now has 39 teams and around 2000 members.
The club has now become the biggest community club in Manningham through factors such as their female program, which continues to expand across the board.
Facilities have been key to their growth and alongside the announcement of the new lighting setup, the club has received recent clubroom upgrades at Timber Ridge Reserve, through funding from the local council.
“We have also just had a recent upgrade to our Timber Ridge Reserve, in terms of our clubrooms – it was a $300,000 upgrade which was funded through Manningham Council, which we are extremely thankful for,” Giuliani said.
Since 2018, the World Game Facilities Fund has invested $13.2 million in 48 game-changing infrastructure projects with a total value of more than $41 million. The next round of the World Game Facilities Fund will open for applications in August 2021.
For more information visit: sport.vic.gov.au/grants-and-funding/our-grants/world-game-facilities-fund