Refurbishment of the Dockers’ clubhouse has been made possible thanks to a £100,000 grant from Veolia Environmental Trust.
Money will go towards turning the derelict building into a community centre with function room, gym and cafe.
The club said a welcoming centre for young people could combat truancy, school exclusion, poor health, depression and crime.
Dockers chairman Andy Lloyd said: “This is fabulous news for the club and the community.
“We have waited years for this to happen and now, thanks to Veolia, we can make progress off the pitch as well as on it.”
Work will be completed by the start of the 2014/15 football season. A grand opening ceremony will be held to celebrate.
Once the financial agreement is signed with Veolia within the next four months, work can begin but it must take place outside the football season for safety reasons.
The club is planning to create a hub for sport, social and education activities for people in Newhaven.
It wants to offer dance classes, martial arts, handball and tai chi. The empty building will be fitted out with changing rooms, physio and officials’ rooms and spectator toilets.
The pitch will be refurbished and there will be improved car parking.
A derelict BMX park will be transformed into an adventure garden for children with disabilities and the club wants to develop sports for the disabled.
It plans to establish a schools tournament, coaching sessions and summer fun days.
Chairman of the club sponsors, Trafalgar-Group, John Summers, added: “It’s a project that local people and their well-loved football club have long deserved and ‘kick-starts the regeneration of this once unloved town.
“Newhaven need no longer be the ‘Cinderella’ of the south coast - it has a fantastic future.”
Veolia awarded the grant at a board meeting on January 20. The company, which built Newhaven incinerator, said it would work with the club to finalise the details, including the start date.
Fundraiser Cathy McDermott said: “This grant is great news. It means we can push the project forward and start the much needed refurbishment of the clubhouse.”