Local sport in Plymouth has a brighter future following the news that a key sporting facility in Saltash is to receive a large financial grant.
The Pilgrim Pitch and Saltmill Park Pavilion have received funding from Barclays Spaces for Sports (BS4S) worth £19,700. The Plymouth Argyle ‘Flagship site’ initially received funding of £500,000 from Barclays Spaces for Sports and boasts a full size 3G astroturf pitch, changing rooms and a BMX facility, however it was threatened with closure due to lack of income generation.
The extra funding that the Saltmill Park Pavilion are to receive is just one example of how Barclays Spaces for Sport is demonstrating its commitment to ensuring the facilities it puts in place are sustainable. Since launching the UK programme in 2004 in partnership with the Football Foundation, the Spaces for Sport project has benefitted more than half a million people in socially deprived regions.
Despite being a popular venue and playing host to Plymouth Argyle and Torquay United at times, site managers Groundwork South West raised concerns with the facilities ability to support both current and additional sports development work.
The pavilion was regularly fully booked in the evenings and most weekends however the income generated was only sufficient to cover the running costs of the pitch and employ a part time pitch manager. With such a tight budget, there were concerns that the site would struggle in the future and that the existing surface would soon be unsuitable to play on.
BS4S are committed to the sustainability of their projects and from expert analysis of the situation in Plymouth a further grant has been offered to help secure the facilities future. The additional money will be used to help increase pitch usage by raising awareness of the site and encouraging more people to use the facility. A range of new sporting activities are set to start, generating additional support and helping to create local partnerships and ownership.
BS4S invest not just in the physical site but also in the community with the hope that local volunteers and authorities can manage the facilities so that each one of its 200 sites across the country remains sustainable in the long term.
With London 2012 just around the corner, BS4S is committed to contributing to the Olympic Legacy by maintaining its 200 multi-sport sites around the country such as they have with Plymouth. The partnership between Barclays and the Football Foundation sees one of the worlds largest corporate banks joining forces with one of the leading sports charities to help provide opportunities for communities to engage, learn and develop through sport.
Kirk Harrison, head of Barclays Spaces for Sport said: “We are committed to creating a lasting legacy for communities at all our Barclays Spaces for Sports sites and the additional funding that the Pilgrim Pitch and Saltmill Park Pavilion is to receive is an example of this. We’ve been working closely with the Football Foundation throughout the programme to ensure our sites remain sustainable and we are very happy to see our work benefitting local areas such as in Plymouth.”