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Alan Pardew opens football facilities in Gateshead

Fri 27th Jan 2012 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew showed his support for grassroots football as he officially opened a new sports pavilion in Gateshead Redheugh 1957 FC.

The new state-of-the-art six-team changing pavilion replaces the previous dilapidated clubhouse at Eslington Park, as part of £761,000 project, managed by Four Housing Group and Gateshead Redheugh 1957 FC.

Pardew, who is in his second season in charge of Newcastle United, said: “I am very proud to be opening this new facility for Gateshead Redheugh 1957 FC today. It will ensure the youngsters from the local area enjoy their football and will also be a base to deliver community work that will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“The professional game needs talent to be continually generated at the grassroots level so it is important that investment like this continues to go into community sports sites like this to give children the best possible chance to develop.

“I’d like to congratulate the Football Foundation and its funders for all the fantastic work that that is does in supporting the game. I also want to thank the volunteers at Gateshead Redheugh and the thousands of other grassroots clubs across the country for hours and effort they dedicate every week, purely for the love of the game.”

The new facility will cater for the 17 teams operated by Gateshead Redheugh FC and allow the club to increase football participation in the future. The facility will also be open on daily basis for members of the local community.

Participation at the site will grow dramatically, with forecasts suggesting the pitch will be used by over 400 people on a weekly basis, an increase of 92%. The project will also increase the number of teams operated by the club from 15 to 32 as part of a five-year football development plan.

Gateshead Redheugh FC has nurtured a host of international players, with Paul Gascoigne, Don Hutchinson, Craig Harrison and most recently Andy Carroll all representing the North East outfit.

The club worked in partnership with the Durham County FA to secure a £102,000 grant from the Football Foundation. 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.

Terry Ritson, Sports Co-ordinator at Gateshead Redheugh FC, said: “We would like to thank the Football Foundation for making our dreams become a reality. The new club house will help the club move forward into the future by providing first class facilities for both boys and girls football.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This facility underlines the commitment the Football Foundation has to improving community access to quality local football facilities across the country. I commend Gateshead Redheugh FC and the Durham FA for working tirelessly to make this vision become a reality.

“This year is an exciting time for sport in this country and a tremendous opportunity to create a grassroots legacy. The hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will inspire generations of people up and down the country to reap the rewards that sport has to offer. The Football Foundation is dedicated, with funding provided from the Premier League, The FA and government, to raising the standard of grassroots community sports facilities and to getting more people actively playing the national sport.”

The sports pavilion forms part of a wider £2.7m community scheme, which involves the development of the site at Eslington Park. This will provide a residential support and training centre for homeless people aged 16 to 25.

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