TV star Ben Shephard launches £1.5m grassroots fund

Thursday 18 Dec 2014
For each new team that a club creates, £1,500 of funding will be made available

Ben Shephard has launched a new £1.5m scheme to boost the number of grassroots football teams from under-represented groups.

The Good Morning Britain presenter announced that funding applications for the Grow the Game (GtG) scheme are opening in the New Year.

The scheme is designed to increase participation by helping clubs to meet the essential costs of expanding the range of teams they operate to cater for players whose opportunities to join suitable teams are limited.  

Funded by the Premier League and The FA, GtG is delivered by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity.

Ben, who is a Football Foundation ambassador said: “I’ve got so much benefit and enjoyment out of playing football, so it is great to see £1.5m through the Grow the Game scheme enabling grassroots clubs to provide those with the least opportunities to play the game to be given the chance.

“The Football Foundation’s partnership with the Premier League and The FA in delivering the Grow the Game scheme has had incredible results since it began in 2010,” he added.

The fund will boost playing opportunities for women and girls, disabled players and male teams of Under-14s-and-upwards for teams that meet the basic eligibility criteria.

For each new team that a club creates, £1,500 of funding will be made available, with the grants aimed at covering the costs incurred for league entry, referees’ fees, first aid kits, FA coaching courses and football strips.

The application window for Grow the Game applications will open on Wednesday 7 January 2015 and close on Wednesday 18 February 2015. 

For clubs seeking more information on Grow the Game should contact their local County FA or visit

As well as delivering Grow the Game, the Football Foundation delivers the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund on behalf of the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England. 

Since 2000, the Foundation has developed nearly 2,000 facilities with grants worth £400m, which it has managed to more than double through attracting partnership funding.

By FA Staff