Local people in Kent are getting ready to celebrate the official opening of new football facilities in Aylesham. The project was made possible thanks to a £1m grant from the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. A ceremony will take place at 11.00am on Thursday 10th November 2011 at Aylesham Welfare Leisure Centre, Snowdown Welfare Club, Dorman Avenue South, Aylesham, Kent, CT3 3AD.
The project has transformed the site with a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch, Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), grass pitch renovation work, and changing pavilion, comprising of: six team changing rooms; two officials changing rooms; male, female and wheelchair accessible toilets; kitchen; and communal room.
Forecasts suggest that an additional 750 people will play football on the facilities each week, allowing greater opportunities for local residents to play the beautiful game.
The Aylesham Welfare has been an integral part of community life in the area for the last 75 years. Chairman, George Gilchrist, described the project as “a dream come true”.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government via Sport England, the Football Foundation is the nation’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.
The project also received funding contributions from: The Coalfield Regeneration Trust, Dover District Council , Rugby Union, Freedom Leisure and the Welfare itself.
Football Foundation president, Lord Pendry, said: “The facilities that will be developed here will be amongst the best in the county and are set to lead the development of sport in this part of Kent.
“They are going to be a massive benefit to the local community and will really encourage people of all ages to enjoy their football, and other sports and leisure activities and to stay fit and healthy.
“The Football Foundation has now made a real difference to the state of the game within our communities. In Kent alone the Foundation has worked closely with the Kent County FA to support 262 grassroots sports projects, with grants worth £11.3m. These grants have attracted further partnership funding of £13.4m into the area’s grassroots.”