A bright opportunity for local football clubs
Find out how your club can obtain free new floodlights
A bright opportunity for local football clubs
Your club could benefit from free floodlights and other capital investment through The FA’s association with Shared Access, a leading telecoms infrastructure provider.
What is the Scheme?
This scheme offers clubs the chance to receive free floodlights at no cost to the club. Shared Access will pay for and erect floodlights for local football clubs. These floodlights will house state-of-the-art wireless antennas and where available fibre connections, enabling significantly enhanced broadband penetration and mobile phone coverage in the locality. All a club have to do to be included into the scheme is to complete and online enquiry form. To date over 700 clubs have applied for the scheme.
The FA are encouraging as many clubs as possible, without obligation, to sign up, and subject to being in a suitable location, have the opportunity of either obtaining floodlights or other capital investment projects into YOUR Club. There is no cost to the club to apply.
These benefits could include:
• Free fully installed and maintained floodlights
• An ongoing revenue stream to the club
• Planning and installation costs covered
All clubs are encouraged to sign up and join. This application is free to the club, just the time it takes to fill in the form online.
I am interested in finding out more, what are the next steps/process moving forward?
To register your club onto the scheme all you need to do is complete an online enquiry form.
Click here for Enquiry Form
We would also like you to consider the following:-
• Does your Club ground or facility have a mobile phone operator on site?
• Have you been approached by a mobile phone operator in the past?
• Do you have existing floodlights?
• Do you have planning permission to install floodlights?
If the answer is YES to all or any of the above please complete an enquiry form. If your answer is no to all of the above and you still are interested in capital investment into your Club please complete and enquiry form Shared Access will still be interested in you signing up to the scheme.
Alternatively, if you like to find out more please contact The Facilities and Investment Project Officer for the Shared Access scheme. Or read our FAQ’s below.
Click here for Enquiry Form
Background to the Scheme
Shared Access and The FA – Supporting investment into your club
In February 2012 The FA launched with Shared Access – a leading telecoms infrastructure company – an exciting £30m Floodlighting and Capital Investment programme to provide grassroots clubs across England with new or improved floodlighting systems.
If a club are located in an area of interest to a mobile operator Shared Access have proposed to deliver a new floodlighting system or other site-specific solution including designs, planning and installation to that club. This will create a valuable improvement for Club's facilities. A long term revenue stream and maintenance plan for participating clubs form part of the package. There are already over 700 clubs registered onto the scheme.
Who Are Shared Access?
Shared Access is a private, well capitalised company who finance, develop and manage shared communications infrastructure for wireless operators.
The Shared Access proposal to clubs
Should a club’s location prove suitable and they agree to host the infrastructure, Shared Access will deliver a turnkey floodlighting solution at clubs. Shared Access will pay for and erect floodlights for local football clubs. These floodlights will house state-of-the-art wireless antennas and where available fibre connections, enabling significantly enhanced broadband penetration and mobile phone coverage in the locality. They will also provide a maintenance plan for the floodlights and cover the cost of planning and contribute to legal costs.
If a club already has floodlights, Shared Access would still like the opportunity to discuss development options with them.
The telecoms industry and football
There has been a lot of talk about 4G auctions recently – the process through which more spectrum is sold by the Government to the Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) which allows them to deliver a newer and faster service to customers.
But why does this matter to football clubs? Simply put, the new spectrum operates at a high frequency and can therefore only travel short distances. As a result the Mobile Network Operators need more sites to roll this service out to customers. This in turn means there is increased demand for new site locations which could include football clubs through Shared Access.
This joint initiative will benefit hundreds of clubs and at the same time, open up new telecommunication channels in City, urban and rural communities throughout England. New and improved floodlighting schemes will directly support The FA’s National Game Strategy objectives
We believe that with the new demand of sites across the country the more clubs can benefit from this significant investment.
FA General Secretary Alex Horne said: “This partnership represents a unique opportunity for local grassroots football clubs to access new investment into floodlighting, allowing them to maximise the use of their facilities, especially in the dark winter months."
Chris Jackman, CEO of Shared Access, added: “This initiative will bring immense benefits to telecomms providers in England and at the same time, to local football clubs.
"We will be investing up to £30m in providing world class telecommunications infrastructure and make sites available to all telecoms operators in England to enable the provision of advanced broadband and mobile communications.
“This mutually beneficial programme will at the same time allow for the upgrading of football club facilities across England to support them and The FA develop the National Game.”
And Ed Vaizey PM, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, is fully behind the programme. “Floodlights and broadband may not be an obvious combination but this is a fantastic, innovative partnership. It will help take better broadband access to communities while also upgrading local sporting facilities."
Shared Access Scheme Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is any annual revenue available to the Club?
A: There is a revenue stream available based on the number of Operators, technically this revenue would be paid to the landowner, or the Club if the Club is the landowner, or if the landowner/Club have an agreement that enables the Club to receive the revenue stream.
Q: How/who will manage the annual revenue allocation?
A: Shared Access.
Q: How many wireless operators could potentially use the Club’s location?
A: Up to 5 mobile operators and broadband operators. The more operators who use the club’s location, the higher the annual rental income the club receives.
Q: Can I still apply if I have existing floodlights?
A: Yes. The Operator’s equipment can often be attached to existing columns, or Shared Access may upgrade part of the lighting system, or a separate monopole may be installed for the Operator’s equipment.
Q: Can I apply if my club is located near some existing masts or if we are in close proximity to another club applying?
A: You should still apply, your site could still be deemed beneficial to mobile phone operators. In fact being close to an existing telecoms structure can make your location more attractive as the Operators are having to decrease the distance between cell locations due to the increasing demand for wireless coverage/broadband.
Q: Can I still apply if I live in an area of low population density?
A: Yes, due to increasing demand for mobile communications across the county the population requirements for masts are ever increasing.
Q: How will site assessments be carried out?
A: Site assessments will be carried out by Shared Access.
Q: Should I apply if my club is looking at other facility development methods?
A: Yes. It is important you continue any development work you are planning, if you're successful in the scheme it could work in partnership with other development strategies.
Q: What do the floodlights look like with Operator equipment?
A: Click here to see a selection of Shared Access developments on football, rugby, tennis, retail and private sites.
And click here to watch a video showcasing two developments on football pitches in Republic of Ireland.
Q: Is there any cost/risk to the Club associated with the scheme?
A: The full cost of any floodlight installation, planning or any other associated works will be covered by Shared Access.
However all clubs participation in this scheme must seek independent legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor to ensure that the details of any agreement between the club and Shared Access (including Title on the site) are thoroughly understood.
The obligations of both shared access and the club will be clearly set out in a legal agreement between both parties. This is why you should take independent legal advice before proceeding to sign any agreement.
Shared Access have developed a standard license agreement that has been reviewed by The FA, and Shared Access are willing to provide a non-refundable contribution of £500.00 towards a clubs legal expense.
Q: Is planning permission required?
A: In general, yes.
Q: Who applies and bears cost of applying for planning permission and on whose behalf?
A: Shared Access apply for planning permission on behalf of the Club but always in full agreement with the Club.
Q: What is the situation regarding power for the lights?
A: The lighting will be designed to a specification provided by The FA. The supply of power will either be through existing connections or via a dedicated generator.
Q: What light level (LUX level) will these lights meet?
A: The lighting will be designed to a specification agreed between The FA and Shared Access.
Q: Who will be installing the lights?
A: A contractor managed by Shared Access.
Q: How many lighting structures are involved and at what height?
A: This will be determined by each sites requirement. However typically this would include 4m x 18m structures.
Q: How long will the installation take?
A: Approximately four weeks for the final installation and prior to that time will be spent completing site investigation, design and planning permission.
Q: Will the development cause much disruption to normal Club activities?
A: While disruption will be site specific it will be minimal and discussed and agreed with the Club prior to works commencing.
Q: Who maintains the lights after they are installed?
A: Shared Access include a maintenance program for the duration of the agreement with Shared Access.
Q: What is the situation regarding the equipment for the wireless operators and where will it be housed?
A: The equipment will be in outdoor cabinets in a location agreed with the Club.
Q: What is the H&S situation regarding wireless installations and who controls same?
A: Shared Access will ensure that all wireless providers comply with the ICNIRP Guidelines.
Q: Who does the Club approach if they have any H&S queries from members or the general public?
A: Shared Access will supply information on H&S or can be contacted directly in relation to any queries.