THE PARTNERSHIP APPROACH
Throughout the delivery of the Football Development Plan we have been committed to creating clear and purposeful partnerships with a variety of organisations ranging from local football teams, sports bodies, youth groups, schools, colleges, charities, local authorities and commercial companies.
Hitchin Town FC
Hitchin Town Community Football Club evolved from the Community & Development work that had previously been delivered through Hitchin Town FC.
We work closely with the Football Club in many aspects of our work, our biggest link being Mark Burke, Community & Development Manager at The Arena and also 1st Team Manager of Hitchin Town.
Luton Town FC
Historically Hitchin Town and Luton Town have had a good relationship, playing each other annually in pre-season friendly matches, with Luton loaning young players to Hitchin to gain experience and using Hitchin’s Top Field for reserve and youth team matches.
The relationship evolved into a partnership with the relocation of Luton’s Academy and Centre of Excellence for 8-16 years to The Arena in 2007 and the Elite Scholarship Scheme for 16-19 years in 2010.
Baldock Town FC
The origins of The Arena date back to the 1980’s when Baldock Town FC built the original grass pitch and clubhouse structures. Baldock enjoyed a period of success and rose through the leagues. At their pinnacle they reached the Southern Premier League.
Unfortunately in 2001 the club folded and the ground became derelict. In 2002 Hitchin Town FC secured the lease to the facility and located its Football in the Community programme here.
In 2003 a new senior club was formed from the successful Baldock Town Youth set up and the club began the journey through the leagues again, and in 2011 The Arena welcomed back Baldock Town to train and play its League matches. 2011/2012 saw Baldock win the Herts Senior County League Premier Division and promotion to step 6 in the league pyramid. However, the Club were denied promotion to the Spartan South Midlands League because the 3rd generation artificial pitch was deemed unsuitable by FIFA regulations.
As well as football clubs, we have forged many strong relationships with other groups, schools and organisations within the local community, focusing on the four key indicators of social development: more jobs, less crime, better health, and improved educational attainment.
Click on the links below for more information on the work of each of our partners.