YOUNG soccer stars of the future today got a massive cash windfall.
The Mirfield-based Battyeford Sporting Club were celebrating a £311,399 cash boost from the Football Foundation, the UK's largest sports charity.
The cash will allow the club to construct a new pavilion at the West Mills Playing Fields, attracting hundreds more football mad youngsters into the game.
The news comes only weeks after the club won a battle to safeguard their future.
They faced losing the playing fields site to a development by adjoining bedding factory owners John Cotton, who need room to expand.
But after public consultation and talks with Kirklees Council, the club was assured it could press on with their ambitious plans.
The new pavilion will house eight changing rooms for male and female players and match officials as well as first aid and coaching rooms.
Like all Foundation funded projects, all areas will be fully accessible for disabled fans and players.
The West Mills site currently has had no changing provision, with players utilising a hut more than 400 metres away from the ground with no separate changing or shower facilities.
Emphasis will be placed on attracting more women and girl players to the club in future, creating seven new teams and developing mini soccer for junior players.
Links will also be formed with local schools, creating a host of extra curricular coaching opportunities and after school clubs.
Club secretary David Rawcliffe said: "It's fabulous news, after a rollercoaster of a year.
"We had all the hassle over the future of the site but today's news is testament to all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes.
"Now we only need to wait for Kirklees Council to sort out the lease and we can start building work. Hopefully, we can have the centre up and ready for the start of next season."
The Football Foundation is dedicated to revitalising the grass roots of the game, constructing modern football facilities, developing football as a force for social cohesion and as a vehicle for education in communities throughout the country.
The Football Foundation is the nation's largest sports charity, having already funded projects worth almost £200 million.
Peter Lee, Chief Executive of the Foundation welcomed this latest funding for West Yorkshire.
He said: "Almost £5m has already been invested by the Foundation in West Yorkshire alone and we are delighted our funding is leaving a long lasting legacy for the grass roots game." Our sincere congratulations go to all the members of Battyeford Sporting Club for their hard work."