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Premier League & FA invest in school football

Communities have 101 reasons to celebrate as millions are awarded to build better grassroots football facilities

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 18, 2015 | Sports & leisure

Investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund will allow hundreds of new state-of-the-art community sports facilities to be developed.

The Football Foundation has recently awarded £15.1 million from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund (PL/FA:FF) to 101 grassroots football facilities projects across the country worth £33m.

PL/FA:FF funding is mainly targeted towards building new or refurbishing existing floodlit, third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGPs) and modern changing pavilions, but also provides smaller grants for important enhancements such as the replacement of goalposts and pitch maintenance equipment.

The Premier League, The FA and the Government has provided £102m over three years, towards facilities development that will enhance participation levels and build strong links to the professional game through professional club community outreach schemes, ideally in the most deprived areas of the country. 

The Football Foundation, which is celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year, has a strategic target of investing at least 40% of PL/FA:FF funding into the 20% most deprived areas of the country, over the three years. 

Eight academies and academy trusts will benefit from the funding:

  • West Walsall E-act Academy
  • Twyford CoE Academies Trust
  • The Bedfordshire East Multi Academy Trust and The Bedfordshire East Schools Trust 
  • Sir Herbert Leon Academy 
  • Sandwell Academy Trust
  • Manchester Communication Academy
  • Huish Episcopi Academy
  • Diocese of Norwich Multi-Academy Trust with Norfolk FA 

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £530m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £740m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game. 

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, said: “I am delighted money is being invested at the level where it’s needed most. Grassroots sport is where it all begins – where talent is nurtured and young people are inspired. The Government's partnership with the Premier League, The FA and Football Foundation has been a great success over the past 15 years and I am keen that we continue to build on that."

Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman of the Premier League, said: “This latest funding announcement is a further demonstration of the Premier League’s commitment to investing into state-of-the-art community facilities. The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund helps to regenerate deprived areas and put professional clubs at the very heart of their communities. Last season alone more 700,000 people regularly played sport at these sites and we look forward to continuing this work via our partnership with the Football Foundation.” 

Martin Glenn, Chief Executive of The FA, said: “I am delighted that the ongoing 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.”

Nick Bitel, Sport England Chair, said: “Sport England is committed to helping people create a lifelong sporting habit. This latest investment in grassroots football will see communities across the country benefit from new pitches, improved changing facilities and new equipment to give people the best possible experience of sport.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation – the charity that delivers the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund – said: “Today’s announcement is further good news for those who play their football at the very lowest levels of the game, simply for the love and health benefits of doing so. Over the last decade-and-a-half the Football Foundation has invested in projects worth £1.3bn, which has delivered 900 changing pavilions, 526 all-weather pitches and more than 3,200 natural grass pitches.

“It is 15 years since the Football Foundation was conceived by its Funding Partners – the Premier League, The FA and the Government – to provide an independent and impartial investment vehicle for the delivery of much needed local football infrastructure projects. The sole purpose of the Foundation is to deliver investment to where it is most needed and where it will have the greatest impact in terms of increasing participation levels and developing the strongest possible links with the professional game, ideally in the most deprived communities, where the need is greatest. We are rightly proud of our achievements to date and look forward to continuing this critical work for another 15 years and beyond.”    

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