One of football’s greatest ever managers, Sir Alex won 38 major trophies during his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford and was present at Moss Lane on Monday to cut the ribbon at the new facility.
Funded by a £269,470 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and a further £114,880 from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the facility is adjacent to the first-team pitch and includes a hospitality area, kitchen facilities, office space, spectator toilets and plant storage.
Altrincham FC in the Community will utilise the new hall to deliver multi-sport coaching sessions, school holiday sports schemes, B-Tech programmes and diversionary activities for local youngsters.
And the hall will be used as a match-day hospitality area, allowing the club to generate much-needed extra revenue which can be re-invested into the local community.
"This new community sports hall at Altrincham FC is going to be an invaluable resource for the club and community for years to come," said Sir Alex during his visit.
"It will provide opportunities for children and adults to get involved in sport regardless of the weather.
"The money to make all this possible has come from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation and funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England. That is a strong and important partnership as every footballer ultimately starts out at the grassroots.
"This sort of project is the perfect example of how the Football Foundation is working with its funders to provide football clubs with facilities that get more people playing sport, support football clubs’ excellent community outreach work and create talent pathways through which promising youngsters can progress."
“An invaluable resource for the club and community for years to come”
Sir Alex Ferguson
Additionally, the grant from the FSIF has enabled the club to convert an old bar area, located underneath the main stand, into a physiotherapy suite and officials’ changing room.
The team changing rooms have also been refurbished, spectator standing areas improved and car park resurfaced with the FSIF’s grant.
"The Community Sports Hall will be a major benefit in our efforts to support local grassroots sport and community activities," added Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley.
"We already have bookings for six different sports and we will hope to welcome people of all ages, race, religion, and gender to the facility."
Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £513m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £730m – over £1.2bn of investment into the grassroots game.
By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game.
Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve 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 trusts’ outreach work.
The FSIF, the Football Foundation’s sister organisation, offers financial support towards ground improvement projects for football clubs at the lower levels of the game, with money provided by the Premier League.