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£17.7m boost for national grassroots football facilities

Wednesday 04 Feb 2015
England coach Gary Neville opened a new changing pavillion in Bolton last October
Another 80 grassroots football facilities in desperate need of investment are set to benefit from grants worth £5.6m from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund’s latest funding window.

The Fund, managed and delivered by the Football Foundation, has generated a further £12.1m in partnership funding from the £5.6m provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England.  

This means that a total of £17.7m will now be invested in this funding window through the Football Foundation.

FA Chairman Greg Dyke surveys the new facilities in Lowestoft.

Greg Dyke was was present for the opening of new facilities in Lowestoft last year

The money will help develop new and upgrade existing community sports facilities with floodlit, all-weather third-generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGPs) and modern changing rooms across the country.

And this latest investment follows on from the two previous tranches of funding in May and October last year, when 155 grants totalling £12.8m were awarded to facilities across England, which yielded a further £32.7m in partnership funding. 

Therefore, 235 grassroots projects have now benefited from a total of £44.8m of investment from the Fund since it opened to applications in January 2014.

The Fund aims to improve the experience for regular grassroots players and attract new players by providing more high quality facilities, coupled with the best possible age-appropriate coaching. 

These new facilities are helping to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trust outreach work.

"Investment by The FA through the Football Foundation continues to make a genuine impact on the quality of football facilities up and down the country," said FA Chairman Greg Dyke. 

"This latest tranche of funding presents even more opportunities to boost grassroots and deliver a highly efficient investment programme into facilities across the country."

Roy Hodgson and Mark Sampson at Charles Darwin School in Biggin Hill.

England bosses Roy Hodgson and Mark Sampson were in Kent for the opening of a new 3G pitch in Biggin Hill

Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League, also revealed: "The Premier League’s investment in the Football Foundation – over £200m to date – has already delivered 500 3G artificial grass pitches built in towns and cities across the country, as well as 874 changing pavilions, and 3,266 real grass pitches with proper drainage systems. 

"This latest round of grants will continue this important work providing young people with places to play sport.

"These new sites are hubs of their communities, used by schools and local teams, and enable more people to enjoy our national game each week purely for the love of it. Many of the facilities are also used by Premier League and other professional clubs for their excellent community work."

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation added: "This third round of funding means that a total of 37 new third generation playing surfaces have been developed in the last 12 months since the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund opened to applications.

"The Football Foundation will continue to work with our Funding Partners, and other partners, such as the County FAs, to maximise this investment and to ensure that it is targeted into areas of greatest need and where it will have the biggest impact."

Former England captain Terry Butcher and FA Chairman Greg Dyke meet in Lowestoft.

England legend Terry Butcher and Greg Dyke at the new funded facilities in Lowestoft

And Minister for Sport, Helen Grant MP, concluded: "The Premier League & The FA Facilities fund is a fantastic collaboration between government and the football authorities that is helping to strengthen the national game's grassroots right across the country.

"Good facilities such as 3G pitches are crucial to encourage and sustain participation as well as help develop the next generation of talent.

"This fund, delivered through the Football Foundation, is also helping to bring communities together through the power of sport and I know it will continue to go from strength to strength."

Watch our video as the two England managers head to Kent for one of the latest 3G pitches to be funded by the Football Foundation



By FA Staff