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Ed Miliband MP opens Doncaster sports hub

Tue 14th Jun 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

On Friday 10 June Doncaster North MP and Leader of the Opposition, the Right Honourable Ed Miliband, officially opened a brand-new extension for Norton’s popular Ryecroft Community Building on Ryecroft Road. 

The scheme, led by Norton Parish Council, involved the demolition of part of the building and then the construction of a new extension. This houses changing facilities for both sexes, as well as toilets, including provisions for people with disabilities. 

The building is the base for a growing number of sports teams of both sexes and the new facilities mean the complex now meets Football Association standards. As well as providing new changing facilities, the scheme also saw the creation of a new meeting room, which can now be used for community meetings, team briefings and private events. 

The work cost in the region of £360,000 and funding came from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which awarded a grant of £187,000, the Football Foundation, which awarded £100,000 and The Veolia Environmental Trust, which awarded a grant of £38,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund. A loan of £30,000 from the Public Works Loans Board was also secured. 

Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government via Sport England, the Football Foundation is the nation’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m. 

Speaking about the opening of the project, Ed Miliband MP, said: “Sport plays a central role in helping people to stay fit, strengthening communities and promoting responsibility among young people. I hope the new facilities at Ryecroft Community Building will help it become a real hub of the local community for many years to come.” 

Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, Paul Thorogood, said: “On behalf of everyone at the Football Foundation, I would like to congratulate Norton Parish Council and the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA for all the hard work that has been invested into delivering this project. I would also like to thank Ed Miliband for taking time out to open this new facility, which will be a huge boost to community sport in the local area.” 

“Since 2000, the Foundation has made a huge impact on community sports facility provision right across the country. Across Sheffield and Hallamshire alone we have supported 188 projects with £11.6m of investment provided by our funding partners – the Premier League, The FA and the Government. This investment has attracted a further £15.1m into the region’s grassroots.”

Clerk to the Council, David Telford, said, “The new extension is a fantastic addition to this well-used centre. It greatly increases the building’s potential and amenity to North Doncaster. Girl’s football is burgeoning at the club, with the community building hosting training sessions several times a week, yet demand outstrips availability. This new extension will solve this problem.” 

“It will also mean it will be easier for popular community events such as our summer family fun and sports days to take place. We are keen to expand these occasions in future years. The improved changing rooms will also allow tournaments in other sports, such as tag rugby, baseball, rounders and small athletics events.” 

Chair of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Peter McNestry, said: “The Coalfields Regeneration Trust continues to invest in sustainable grassroots projects at the heart of coalfields communities to improve the lives of coalfields residents. We are looking for new grant applications from projects that can have the same positive effect on their communities as Ryecroft Community Building.” 

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Margaret Cobbold, said: “The Trust works to support community and environmental projects across the UK and it is great to see this scheme being opened. It is an excellent example of how the Trust and the Landfill Communities Fund can help ensure community buildings such as this can be improved to serve the changing needs of people and communities.” 

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