ALTRINCHAM bosses are urging local businesses to join forces with them and help put the finishing touches to the new community sports hall at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Phase One reached fruition last night, Wednesday, when a Manchester United XI played Alty to mark the completion of a new away dressing room and improved facilities for home players and match officials.

With Phase Two now gathering momentum, Alty chairman Grahame Rowley has taken the opportunity to outline the role local companies can play in providing a venue to be proud of.

"The next phase is basically the building," he said. "The foundations are already in place, and the appearance of it will become visible very quickly.

"It is due to be finished by the end of October, and it is an exciting development for everyone in the Altrincham area.

"That much is clear from the number of people who have enquired about using it. There is tremendous interest, but first we have to try and ensure it is finished to the standard required.

"We have major grants coming in, but there is still some fundraising to be done. We are in the region of £80,000 to £90,000 short of our target, and it would be great if local businesses could rally round and help with a venture that is for the good of the community.

"I think people are fearful we are only looking for large amounts, but that's not the case. All contributions, no matter how small, will make a difference and will be acknowledged with a significant showing in the hall. We are very flexible in what we can offer in return for sponsorship, and it would be a case of sitting down with individuals and tailoring an acknowledgement to their needs.

"It is very much a community initiative, and it is worth stressing that people will be contributing to the community, rather than the football club. I think there are sometimes misgivings about donating to a football club, but money for this will be ring-fenced and used for its intended purpose only."

Anyone interested in donating or finding out more can contact Grahame Rowley at the club 0161 928 1045 or by emailing altrinchamprog@yahoo.