A Foundation facility grant of £722,925 has helped fund a new, floodlit 3G artificial grass pitch and changing rooms, with an environmentally conscious roof, at Whittingdon Park in the built-up North London borough of Islington.
The facilities enable football and other sports to be played after dark and right through the winter and rainy season. An additional revenue grant of £46,381 has ensured that the football development plan – drawn up as part of the application – is implemented – meaning that the new site will result in maximum usage.
As well as being a vital community space for local people to enjoy their sport, the site has been a real platform for women’s and girls’ football development. After local girls Merley and Farley expressed an interest, the Islington Football Development Partnership (IFDP) – a partnership between Arsenal in the Community and Islington Council – started running girls’ football sessions. This facility has had an extraordinary impact on Merley and Farley’s lives, and on growing women’s and girls’ football in Islington.