HEYBRIDGE Swifts are replacing one of the finest pitches in the Pitching In Isthmian North Division with a 3G pitch to secure the club’s financial future, writes JON LONGMAN.

The Swifts are going ahead with a business plan to take the club forward based around constructing a 3G pitch at the Aspen Waite Arena.

The plan indicates that the 3G would pay for itself in a short period of time and the club’s income would be boosted by more than £500,000 a year on top of savings of around £100,000 on current operating costs.

Older fans may be disappointed that the Swifts are going ahead with a ‘plastic pitch’ but it will ease the Swifts budgetary concerns in the short term and secure the club’s future in the long term.

The club has taken full advantage of the lack of action to draw up this comprehensive business plan to revamp the facilities and the general state of the complex.

In addition to a 3G surface, the Swifts plan to install new floodlights, improve the car parking and surround the complex with quality fencing.

The club’s committee have been inspired by the revamping of the clubhouse and that will now be enhanced by a large patio on its forecourt.

Swifts chairman Gary White said: “Most importantly we are getting the plan for the 3G pitch up and running. If you look at the figures now and those likely post 3G, not to go ahead with construction of a 3G pitch is a no brainer.

“Currently the club’s income is around £250,00 but with the 3G in place it is estimated at £780,000.

“Pretty much every club we spoke to in researching this project said it was the best thing they had ever done and Haringey Borough said they gained promotion soon after their move to 3G.

“It gives you so much more playing time, so much more footfall coming through the place and then there’s the pitch hire and the revenue from the bar.”

White says the savings that the Swifts simply added to the case for going ahead with the business plan.

“I think we spent something like £80,000 in hiring places for the first team to train in bad weather so we would save that first off. The whole plan certainly stacks up.”