Jon Harley opens brand new 3G facility in Hampshire

Wednesday 11 Feb 2015
Jon Harley joins pupils to celebrate the opening of the new pitch

Former Chelsea player Jon Harley has opened a new 3G pitch at a school in Hampshire.

The project, at Bridgemary School in Gosport, received £355,397 from The FA & Premier League Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.

The FA & Premier League Facilities Fund

  • Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England
  • Awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £513m since 2000
  • Has attracted partnership funding of over £730m
  • Combined funding in excess of £1.2bn into the grassroots game

The new 3G AGP (Artificial Grass Pitch) will enable the school to offer pupils, local grassroots clubs and the wider community a first-class facility which can be used all-year round.

The pitch will also be used by the Chelsea FC Foundation during school holidays. 

Jon Harley, who made 41 appearances for Chelsea after graduating from the club’s youth system and is now an academy coach at the club, praised the work of the Fund.

He said: “It was a privilege to open the excellent new 3G pitch at Bridgemary School. 

“The investment provided by the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, has enabled the school to offer a stunning facility for the local community to utilise all-year round. 

“Chelsea will use this excellent new playing surface to deliver coaching schemes. 

The Fund has provided 235 grants worth over £24.3m across Hampshire

“Close links between the professional game and communities are crucial in helping to promote the next generation of talent and helping youngsters enjoy the benefits of physical activity.

“I’m delighted that the Chelsea FC Foundation will be able to carry out such work here in Gosport.” 

The poor quality of the real grass pitches at the school had meant that previously, for large parts of the year, they were unable to deliver PE lessons, host school fixtures or take bookings from local grassroots clubs.

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.

In addition, Bridgemary also received £150,000 from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities legacy fund towards the cost of the new pitch. 

Jon Harley said the school can now offer the facility all-year round

To date, the fund has helped more than 1,600 local sports projects across the country. 

Scott Sivier, Partnerships & Transition Manager at Bridgemary School, added: “I’d like to thank Chelsea FC Foundation for kindly supporting our grand opening and agreeing to allow Jon Harley to officially open this fantastic new facility. 

“I’d also like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. 

“This state-of-the-art sports pitch will have a hugely positive impact on local grassroots sport and football development for many years to come.”

By FA Staff