Community sport in Liverpool is set to receive a huge boost following the news that Anfield Sports and Community Centre – situated just a mile from Anfield Stadium - has secured a grant worth £10,000 from Barclays Spaces for Sports (BS4S) to help maintain activity at the popular community centre despite the tough economic climate.
The additional funding for the BS4S Liverpool FC Flagship Site ensures the extension and development of the Fitness Officer’s post which was threatened after local authority cuts and a reduction in facility bookings left the centre struggling to generate enough income. The Fitness Officer will look to develop new partnerships, provide a wider range of fitness classes for the local community and increase membership numbers at the centre.
The sustainability funding that the Anfield Sports and Community Centre is receiving is part of a UK-wide sustainability plan implemented by BS4S and the Football Foundation in 2011, demonstrating Barclays commitment to ensuring all of its 200 community sports sites across the UK have a long-term future and remain manageable for local volunteers and organisations to run.
BS4S uses sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities and tackle key social issues by helping young people develop a range of life skills. It is part of Barclays community investment programme and wider Citizenship agenda. Since 2004 BS4S has built 200 community sports sites in the UK, in partnership with the Football Foundation, and now funds 13 sport for development programmes around the world.
The new funding for the Liverpool FC Flagship site follows previous BS4S funding of £650,000 in 2005 which boasts a sports hall, 5-a-side pitches, fitness and activity rooms, a crèche, study centre and meeting rooms.
Despite being a popular site with a range of activities, facilities and social inclusion programmes, including those ran by Liverpool FC in the Community, the local funding cuts left Anfield Sport and Community Centre suffering from a reduced number of facility bookings. Local organisations affected by the cuts were forced to cut expenditure resulting in a reduced number of bookings of meeting rooms and the crèche.
With the reduced income, the community centre was faced with the possibility of increasing hire charges for the facilities, however now with the extra funding from BS4S they will be able to maintain the subsidised prices and through the Fitness Officer work move towards a more sustainable future.
Marie Rooney, Sports Centre Manager of Anfield Sport and Community Centre, said: “Anfield Sports and Community Centre really appreciates the continued support shown by BS4S and the valued guidance from its Activity and Sustainability Advisors.
“This funding will now enable the centre to enhance the current programme and extend the ‘offer’ of health and fitness activities specifically targeting young women and the 50 plus age-group.”
The partnership between Barclays and the Football Foundation sees one of the largest corporate banks in the world joining forces with the nation’s largest sports charity to help provide opportunities for communities to engage, learn and develop through sport.