The Football Foundation has released new research today, which illustrates the impact of its work in partnership with the Middlesex County 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 Middlesex FA to support 160 grassroots sports projects across the county with grants worth £13.5m. These grants have attracted further partnership funding of £29.8m into the area’s grassroots.
This investment has so far provided Middlesex with a lasting legacy of:
• 27 new pitches – real and artificial
• 14 new changing pavilions
• 75 Grow the Game grants towards club development
• 40 new, safe goal posts
• 5,190 free junior football kits
Earlier this year, The FA’s new Chairman, David Bernstein, officially opened a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch at the ARK Academy, Wembley. The pitch, which was made possible thanks to a Football Foundation grant of £229,136, will assist with the delivery of ARK Academy’s commitment to provide an extensive range of curriculum sports, help cater for after school programmes and facilitate a comprehensive community use timetable.
The new state-of-the-art facility will encourage participation in football, enabling communities to become more active. Local clubs, schools, colleges and other community organisations will feel the numerous benefits 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.
Stuart Allen, County Development Manager of the Middlesex FA, said: “I want to place on record my thanks to the Football Foundation for their continued support. The Middlesex FA shares a fantastic working relationship with the Football Foundation; together our work is helping to provide the people of Middlesex with first class provisions for sport.”
“Invariably the focus is on upper levels of the game; therefore, the support of the Football Foundation has made a huge difference in conveying to the wider public the good work that is going on at the grassroots level of the game. Perhaps more importantly, it also helps us to let schools and clubs across the borough know about the funding opportunities that are available.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Football Foundation’s work with the Middlesex 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.”