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Grassroots Football Benefits From £102m Investment

Wed 23rd Oct 2013 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Local football facilities are set to benefit from £102m of investment over the next three years after the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England) committed to financing a new Fund that will provide grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.

The Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund will be delivered by the Football Foundation on behalf of the funding partners, and will provide financial support toward the development of new or refurbished community sports facilities from mid-January 2014.

To mark the new funding announcement, the newly-appointed Minister for Sport and Equalities, Helen Grant MP, Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, The FA’s General Secretary, Alex Horne, Football Foundation Chief Executive, Paul Thorogood and Charles Johnston, Sport England Director of Property, will announce the new funding on Wednesday 23 October at the site of two third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGP) on the border of Southwark and Lambeth that were refurbished with a Football Foundation grant this Autumn.

"Premier League clubs are committed to playing an active role as hubs of their communities, particularly in the area of sports participation, from the grassroots level through to their Academies," said Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore.

"The Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund will help them to support a new generation of facilities across the country, particularly in the most deprived areas

"Having been a Trustee of the Football Foundation since the very start, I have seen first-hand how these new sports facilities can help to regenerate communities and increase participation amongst those who play our national game. By committing £36m over the three years to developing more and better public sports sites, we hope continue that regeneration."

The £102m of new capital investment will enable the Football Foundation to continue to support grassroots facility projects across the country, which will improve the experience of playing the national game at the lowest levels and help to increase participation in football.

"This partnership between the Premier League, the FA, Sport England and Government shows what can be achieved when the public and private sectors work together to help strengthen our national game at the grassroots," said Helen Grant MP, Minister for Sport and Equalities.

"The investment of £102 million into facilities, delivered by the Football Foundation, will encourage many people to get into sport in some of the most deprived areas of the country.  Sport has a unique power to change lives for the better and this will make a positive impact in many local communities."

The Football Foundation was set up by the Premier League, The FA and the Government in 2000. Since then 9,600 grants worth £412m have been awarded thanks to investment from those three funding partners.

The Foundation has used this to attract more than £565m of additional partnership funding into the grassroots game. Last year alone 741,801 people played sport at Foundation sites with 63,702 sporting qualifications also gained at the new facilities.

Football Foundation Chief Executive Paul Thorogood added: "I am delighted that the Premier League, The FA and the Government have agreed to continue with their generous investment into the grassroots of the game through this new fund and grateful for their continued confidence in the Foundation to deliver it.

"The announcement of £102m over the next three years into improving public football facilities is excellent news for local communities. The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund will enable the Foundation to continue our mission to transform the inventory of grassroots football facilities across the country.

"The Football Foundation has pioneered numerous sophisticated performance management and analysis systems since our launch in 2000, so I can absolutely guarantee that this investment will be directed to where it is needed most and where it will have the greatest impact."

 Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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