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Union Mills Football Club Clubhouse 14 September 2004

In a well-attended ceremony on Thursday, 9 September 2004, the first sod of earth was cut at Ballaoates, Braddan to mark the start of building work for the new Union Mills Football Club Clubhouse.

Irene Beattie cutting the first sodIrene Beattie cut the first sod of earth, watched by a number of representatives from Union Mills Football Club, the Department of Health and Social Security, Braddan Parish Commissioners, The Parkinson Group and Bell Burton Associates. Irene is a Life Member of the Club, has held numerous positions with the Club and is the widow of Willie Beattie who was a founder member of the Club and Chairman for many years. A number of her family members are still connected with the Club.

DHSS Chief Executive Officer David Killip said:

"I am delighted to be present at this ceremony which is the result of a collaborative approach between the Department, Union Mills Football Club and Braddan Parish Commissioners to identify and secure a new site. The new Clubhouse will offer more space and improved facilities for players, supporters and the social side of the Club's activities. I wish the Club every success in the future and look forward to seeing the new Clubhouse open next year."

Union Mills Football Club representatives at the ceremony included a number of 'Life Members' and Directors, all of whom gave up a considerable amount of their own time to complete the Clubhouse at Ballamona some 18 years ago.

Vince Watkins, (Club Chairman) said:

"We are delighted to recognise the beginning of the construction of the new Clubhouse. It marks a significant milestone in the Club's development plans and I would like to thank the DHSS, Braddan Parish Commissioners, the Football Foundation and all the Club members for their contribution in reaching this moment."

The Department of Health and Social Security were involved in the scheme, because of the use of the present Union Mills Clubhouse within the new Noble's Hospital development.

In April 2001, the Department of Health and Social Security, Braddan Parish Commissioners and Union Mills Football Club entered into an agreement whereby it was agreed that the Club would vacate the fields alongside Noble's Hospital, Braddan to allow those fields to be developed in order to provide accommodation for staff employed by the Department. As part of the agreement the DHSS agreed to provide playing fields and a Clubhouse of similar design to that which the Club currently enjoy on land at Ballaoates.

The new playing fields were completed in 2002, and the Club has raised money and secured a grant of over £375,000 from the Football Foundation to provide an enhanced Clubhouse. Funded by the Premier League, the Football Association and the UK Government, the Football Foundation is the nation's largest sports charity. It 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.

The Parkinson group are in contract with the Football Club to construct the Clubhouse.

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