The FA launched its first ever National Facilities Strategy for 2013-2015
at a Foundation-funded facility in Salford, Manchester.
The Facilities Strategy has been created to expand upon and support the
National Game Strategy 2011-2015, which set out four targets: growth and
retention; raising standards; developing better players; and running the game
more effectively.
Since the Foundation was established, the Premier League,The FA and the
Government (via Sport England) have overseen the investment of over
£780m into facilities across the country.
However, football is a game heavily reliant on public resources, and at a
time when the public sector is contracting, there will inevitably be pressures
on the game, especially regarding facilities.The FA’s vision is to continue
‘building, protecting and enhancing sustainable football facilities to improve
the experience of the nation’s favourite game.’
The FA’s facility priorities, set out in the Strategy, are:
• Leading the development of technical standards
• Facility planning and protecting playing fields
• Supporting club and league volunteers
•Targeted facility improvement schemes
• Capital investment into facilities.
The Strategy was launched by former England andWest Ham United
player, SirTrevor Brooking CBE, at the Salford SportsVillage community
facility, which was built with the help of a Foundation grant and officially
opened in 2006 by Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Foundation’s Chief Executive, PaulThorogood, commented:
“Whether you are looking to develop the next generation of footballing
talent, or are one of the millions who play purely for the love of the game
at the grassroots each week, facilities are the platform on which all of
that takes place.
“With 84% of peopleThe FA surveyed citing ‘poor facilities’ as their most
pressing issue, the grassroots game has made it abundantly clear where it
thinks the priority for investment should be.”
Targets within the National Facilities Strategy include improving 3,000
natural pitches across England, building 150 artificial pitches and developing
100 all-weather surfaces, whilst refurbishing changing rooms and toilets on
a range of selected sites.
| The Football Foundation Magazine | Issue 32
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