Former England football star Sir Trevor Brooking has unveiled some brand new football facilities in Market Harborough.
The £1.1m project at Harborough Town FC includes a new floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch and the extension and refurbishment of an existing changing pavilion to provide ten changing rooms and additional catering and social facilities.
Sir Trevor made 528 appearances as a midfielder for West Ham United and was capped 47 times for England. He is currently the Director of Football Development at The FA.
Sir Trevor said: “These first-class facilities are the result of many years’ dedication by Harborough Town FC and the Leicestershire FA . This site will create more opportunities for local residents to play football and give youngsters the chance to develop their skills and do something positive with their free time.
“We have a great working relationship with the Football Foundation, who with the funding they receive from The FA, the Premier League and the Government, are helping to create more places like this up and down the country that are improving communities and helping raise the standard of our national game.”
The project will allow Harborough Town FC, who hold the prestigious FA Charter Standard Community Club award, to increase the number of teams run at the club from 36 to 50 as part of a five-year Football Development Plan. The project will also benefit other local clubs and schools in the area.
Forecasts suggest that over 2,300 people will participate on the newly-upgraded site each week – an increase of 370% compared to the site’s previous level of participation.
The club worked in partnership with the Leicestershire FA to secure a £610,921 grant from the Football Foundation. Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
A further £250,000 came from The FA, as part of their capital allocation within the Whole Sport Plan agreed with Sport England. This specific aspect of funding has been awarded to support the sustainability of community clubs and create more opportunities to participate in sport within a high quality environment.
Cheryl Gibson, Harborough Town Operations Manager, said: “Everyone connected is thrilled and delighted at the new football facilities which would not have been possible without the financial support given by the Football Foundation. The football club would also like to offer thanks to The Bowden's Charity who gave significant financial assistance also. Market Harborough now boasts some of the finest grass roots facilities in the East Midlands.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I would like to commend Harborough Town FC and the Leicestershire FA for working tirelessly to make this vision become a reality. I would also like to thank Sir Trevor Brooking for taking time out of his busy schedule to officially open these tremendous new facilities.
“The Football Foundation is dedicated to raising the standard of grassroots community sports facilities and to getting more people actively playing our national game with funding provided from the Premier League, The FA and government,.”
For more information about the work the Football Foundation is doing all over the country visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.
For more information contact:
• Richard Faulkner on 0845 345 4555 ext 4274 or firstname.lastname@example.org