The Football Foundation has released new research today, which illustrates the impact of its work in partnership with the Manchester FA over the last decade.
As the UK’s largest sports charity, the Foundation helps improve local sports facilities with money from its core funding partners: The FA, the Premier League and Government (via Sport England).
Since the Foundation was set up in 2000 it has worked closely with the Manchester County FA to support 145 grassroots sports projects across the county with grants worth £12.9m. These grants have attracted further partnership funding of £15m into the area’s grassroots.
This investment has so far provided Manchester with a lasting legacy of:
• 20 new pitches – real and artificial
• 17 new changing pavilions
• 50 Grow the Game grants towards club development
• 37 new, safe goal posts
• 4,095 free junior football kits
Earlier this year, Chairman of The Football Association, David Bernstein, helped local people in the Salford area celebrate the opening of the new facilities at De La Salle Sports & Social Club, which were funded with the help of a £498,140 grant from the Football Foundation.
The new provisions will allow De La Salle football and rugby teams to play, train and welcome opposing squads to a modern changing facility and first class natural grass sports pitches. The remodelled site will include four dual gender changing rooms, two officials’ changing rooms, coach education room, spectator toilets and plant room and team storage areas. It will encourage participation in football, enabling communities in and around Salford to become more active, as a wide range of local clubs, schools, colleges and other community organisations will have access to the facilities for many years to come.
Prior to the establishment of the Football Foundation in 2000 there was a recognised under investment in football facilities. Subsequently, a determination emerged to rebuild the country’s dilapidated community football facilities.
After more than a decade of Foundation investment, monitoring and evaluation evidence demonstrates that participation on sites that are enhanced with Foundation funding increases by an average of 50% when they open, and by a further 25% over the following four years.
Natalie Woodford, Football Development Manager of the Manchester FA, said: “Manchester FA sees the Football Foundation as one if its key strategic partners for the regeneration of football across the County. The investment that has been made and will continued to be made in Manchester has seen a rise in the number of people participating in high quality facilities, growth in teams through the Grow the Game Scheme and a real “added value” to football across the County. Manchester FA will continue to work with the Football Foundation to drive participation, increase investment into the game and create community hubs across the County”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Football Foundation’s work with the Manchester FA has achieved major improvements to the grassroots across the county. We have done this with investment made by our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA and Government via Sport England.”
“The Foundation will continue to work towards rebuilding facilities at the community level, enabling many more local people to gain access to regular football and other sports in their communities and improving the quality of their experience.