Cash injection secures league status

Four years of work and redevelopment have paid off for the Northumbrians, whose once-aging ground has been upgraded to the necessary Grade G standard.

Town, who are close to finishing their first season back in the Northern League, would have suffered automatic relegation if St James’ Park was not up to scratch.

But the green-light has preserved their stay at this level and means that they will once again play Division Two football next season.

It also allows the black ‘n’ whites to enter The FA Vase and Northumberland Senior Cup, while the opportunity to play in the FA Cup will follow.

Club chairman Tom McKie has hailed the support that the club has received, especially from the Duke of Northumberland, who in 2009 pledged to give £20,000-a-year for five years.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the ground has met Grade G standard,” said Mr McKie.

“I think it is a credit to the volunteers, the sponsors and the Duke of Northumberland.

“Without his donation we wouldn’t have been able to do this so quickly.

“Instead of taking four years to get the ground up to scratch, it would have taken 10.

“But we also had the volunteers there and everyone has put 110 per cent into it.

“It is great for the local community and we are looking forward to next year.”

After last season’s promotion to the Northern League, Town were given a job-list to ensure St James’ Park was fit for purpose by the end of March.

A visit by the league grounds’ inspection panel followed and they were impressed with what they saw.

Northern League chairman Mike Amos said: “Alnwick have done extremely well.

“When they joined us at the beginning of the season we identified quite a lot which they needed to do.

“But they have done it, which is fantastic, and the decision to reward Grade G status has been confirmed by the league committee.”