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128 Grassroots Sports Facilities Get 28.3m Investment

Thu 1st Sep 2016 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Between January and June 2016, the Football Foundation awarded grants worth £28.3m from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards 128 grassroots sport facility projects across the country.

The Foundation delivers the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund on behalf of the Funding Partners: the Premier League, The FA and the Government / Sport England.

Grants awarded from the Fund by the Foundation primarily go towards the development of new or refurbished floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGPs), changing room pavilions and natural grass pitches in the areas of the country that need them most.

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund also provides smaller grants for smaller scale but equally vital improvements, such as replacing unsafe goalposts and purchasing pitch maintenance equipment. (A full detailed list of grants awarded in this period is in the Notes to Editors section.)

By using this grant money to leverage a further £25.1m of partnership funding, the Foundation has maximised this investment further, meaning that the total amount invested into community sport is £53.4m.

The Foundation also ensures that the facilities it funds continue to deliver expected outcomes throughout their usable life through its highly effective monitoring and evaluations systems.

These systems identify when outcome performance falls below that which is expected so that intervention action can be taken to get the facility back on track.

Last season, grassroots football facilities that the Foundation invested in saw a 7% increase in football participation and an 8% increase in multi-sport participation (i.e. rugby, cricket, netball, etc.).

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, said: “Good quality facilities are vital to help encourage people to get involved in sport and this investment from the Premier League, The FA and government is boosting grassroots football across the country.

“Facilities such as 3G artificial grass pitches mean communities can use them all-year-round and help us develop the next generation of talent. The work of the Football Foundation shows what can be achieved when government and football work together in partnership.”

Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman of the Premier League, said: “Premier League clubs are committed to supporting all levels of English football and investing in community sports facilities is a key part of that.

“The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, run by the Football Foundation, is doing an excellent job building pitches across the country which are in the heart of local communities.

“The facilities are essential to the work Premier League clubs are doing to encourage young people to play sport and will be used by primary schools for PE lessons, local amateur clubs for entire league programmes, and by professional clubs to deliver projects including Premier League Kicks and the Premier League Girls Football Programme.”

Martin Glenn, Chief Executive of The FA, said: “We are delighted with the impact of our latest slice of funding through the Football Foundation. Our commitment to improve grassroots football across the country continues at a pace.

"Next month will see the opening of the first two multi-pitch football hubs in Sheffield, which when replicated across the country will lead to a fundamental shift in the quality of grassroots facilities across England.”

Charles Johnston, Director of Property at Sport England, said: “Improvements like new floodlights or an all-weather pitch, can play a huge part in a club’s ability to maintain and grow its membership. Thanks to this significant investment, more people across the country will have access to better facilities.

"Once upgraded, the 128 projects have a fantastic opportunity to reach out to people who might not think that sport is for them and I would urge the clubs to do all they can to help get more people active.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Foundation continues to work with our Funding Partners to deliver quality grassroots football facilities up and down the country, which are providing local people with the opportunity to enjoy playing on quality surfaces, which can only help them to enjoy the experience more and enable them to develop their skills so that they can be as good as they can be, as part of a healthy lifestyle.

“These new 3G pitches and changing rooms are built in the areas of the country where our delivery systems tell us they will benefit the greatest number of people, thus maximizing their impact.

“None of this would be possible without the continued investment from our Funding Partners over the past 16 years, which has resulted in more than £1.3 billion going towards new facilities across the country.

"Much of this has gone to supporting some of the most deprived communities where the need is the greatest. I very much look forward to seeing how this latest tranche of investment supports local sportsmen and women and adds to their enjoyment of playing grassroots sport.”


Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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