PLANNING permission has been granted for floodlights at a local football team – but they see it as a ‘small cog’ in their plans to turn the club into a community hub.

Dearne and District Football Club ply their trade in the Central Midlands League, and they’re the only Barnsley club to do so.

They’re currently sitting second in the league and are hoping to be promoted this season – but will only be allowed to do so should their ground be improved.

The first part of their ambitious plans were approved by Barnsley Council’s planning board last week and floodlights are set to be introduced to the Welfare Pitch in Goldthorpe – but for owner Tony Jamasb, it’s only the start.

He told the Chronicle: “The club now has about 26 teams and around 750 players.

“What we’re trying to do is create a legacy – something which will allow us to continue sustainably.

“The key aim is to get and Dearne and District to be a focal point for the Dearne community.

“If you go to Doncaster, Rotherham or Barnsley you’ve got clubs with the infrastructure – but there doesn’t seem to be that in the Dearne Valley.”

Now plans for the floodlights have been approved, they’re looking at applying for planning permission for a new stand so they meet the requirements for promotion into the Northern Counties East League, the same level as Athersley Rec and Worsbrough Bridge.

“We’ve got the planning permission for the floodlights but it’s the first step in our journey,” he added.

“We want to turn the pitch into a football stadium – we’re now looking to get planning permission for a stand.

“The floodlights are just a small cog in the wider picture.

“If we finish top this season, then we need to have the correct facilities in place.

“It can only be good news for the club and the area.”