Improvements to facilities in the National League System are an important part of the sustainability and development of clubs wishing to adhere to the standards and requirements of The FA’s Ground Grading.
The FA Regional Managers, in conjunction with leagues within the National League System undertake a schedule of annual Ground Grading visits at Grade E and above. These visits are to ensure compliance with the grade currently played at and are carried out on a three-year cyclical basis. Ground Grading is also undertaken to identify works required for those club who may anticipate promotion to the next step at the end of a season. As such is it vitally important that clubs who are successful on the pitch maintain the same level of detail and investment into their facilities.
The FA advocates the implementation of a Facilities Development Plan for all clubs within the National League System.
Reference to the Facilities Development Plan will assist clubs in identifying the necessary standards required for progressing to the next level. Ground inspections often reveal poor quality standards as a result of the lack of maintenance. This can lead to a range of defects affecting the function and performance of facilities which may result in a Club not achieving the required Grade. The Facilities Development Plan provides information on the implementation of a maintenance programme, helping to reduce potential longer term defects. As such short-term investment can reduce maintenance costs in the longer term.