The company have handed a major boost to the Railwaymen after they suffered relegation from the Northern Premier League East last season by agreeing to invest at all levels at Dean Street as part of a substantial four-year agreement.
BDN will become new front of shirt sponsors for Shildon’s first-team and under-18s and will sponsor the club’s YouTube channel, Shildon AFC TV. As part of the club’s ongoing project to forge strong links with the local community, BDN have also agreed to select community groups to receive tickets for each game throughout the next four seasons.
Established in 1983 as an engineering firm, BDN is now one of the region’s most ambitious and dynamic professional services businesses offering architecture, engineering and project management services nationwide.
BDN’s managing director Richard Marsden, who will take on an advisory role at Shildon, revealed why his company were attracted to the Railwaymen and expressed his desire to make a long-term impact at Dean Street and within the town.
Richard Marsden said, “The core values of what the club is about, what they stand for, the community links and the ambition are what attracted us.
“There is a golden thread of decency, honesty and integrity that runs throughout the club – but it’s not just about an instant fix of acquiring players or getting back up. It’s about looking at the wider infrastructure of the club, setting strong foundations and putting a bit of a legacy in place that is built upon those strong foundations.
“It’s more of a project than a one-hit wonder and that is what attracted us. Initially there is a four-year plan in place between the two of us and that will be reviewed throughout. But in that time we have some good ideas to make the club sustainable and develop it in the way we want it to go.”
“The core values of what the club is about, what they stand for, the community links and the ambition are what attracted us. There is a golden thread of decency, honesty and integrity that runs throughout the club – but it’s not just about an instant fix of acquiring players or getting back up. It’s about looking at the wider infrastructure of the club, setting strong foundations and putting a bit of a legacy in place that is built upon those strong foundations.”
Shildon chairman David Dent is determined to ensure the new agreement will help his club move on from relegation.
After a challenging second season in the fourth tier of the non-league game, the Railwaymen’s return to the Northern League was confirmed on the final day of the campaign, despite winning 3-2 at Grimsby Borough.
The rebuilding process is already underway and manager Chris Hughes is hard at work putting together a squad capable of challenging at the top of the Northern League and for what they hope will be a long run in the FA Vase.
Dent believes the club is ‘geared up’ to compete in the Northern Premier League after investing heavily on and off the field and he is adamant that the new partnership with BDN will only make them stronger.
“We have been relegated and that hurt both me and my wife massively because, contrary to popular belief, we invested in the club, on and off the field. We had a squad capable of playing at that level, and we are geared up to being a Northern Premier League club – we have the facilities and ground grading to prove that.
“For whatever reason, it just didn’t happen but that’s gone now and this news has come at a good time for us as we go back into a very strong Northern League, which will be a challenge but one which we welcome.
“We have the infrastructure in place and we want to put a sustainable model in place to move forwards with Rick and with others around the boardroom table that will mean when we do get back into the Northern Premier League, we are ready to challenge.”
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