A FOOTBALL club whose clubhouse was gutted in a Christmas Day blaze nine years ago has been given approval to build a new one.

Officials at Spennymoor Town Football Club have received the backing of Durham County Council for the plan at the Brewery Field ground.

The Ebac Northern League club’s last clubhouse burned down in 2003 and the latest scheme is to build a new two-storey structure.

The club is pushing for promotion from the Northern League and the clubhouse would help to ensure the ground is at the required standard.

The structure would cover 1.1 hectares and be bounded by Wood Vue and Allotment Gardens and will have a club room, kitchen, function room and covered terrace.

The club has also been given approval to carry out other improvements, such as fitting new floodlights.

Supporters will also be able to use steel-framed stands with canopy roofs on the Durham Road and Tees Crescent sides of the ground.

Mike Rowcroft, communications manager for the club said: “We’re pleased that the planning application has been approved.

“The vision is to give something to the community as well as a base for the academy teams, the number of which will be expanding next season.

“We also hope local residents will see it as a benefit to the area and use the club as a community base.

“It has been a busy time for the club officials to get to this stage and we would like to thank everyone involved in achieving this milestone.”

Club officials estimate the total bill for the works will be £500,000 and funding applications have been submitted.

This is the latest batch of improvements at Brewery Field as £34,000 was spent on upgrading disabled facilities this year.

Durham County councillor Neil Foster, who covers the Tudhoe area of Spennymoor, said: “I think it’s a good idea and it forms part of a long-term plan to develop the club.

“They had first class facilities, but unfortunately they burned down. This can only be good for the club and it gives them another revenue stream and the community a social venue.”