George Cohen MBE, one of England’s 1966 World Cup winning team, was joined by long-term friend and Football Foundation President, The Rt Hon Lord Pendry, at the opening of Langton Green Community Sports Association’s new £500,000 changing pavilion recently (Saturday 3 September 2016).
The Rt Hon Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, was also on hand to mark the opening of the new building, made possible thanks to a £384,500 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
The grant enabled Langton Green Community Sport Association to build a brand new state-of-the-art changing pavilion, comprising: two team changing rooms; two officials' changing rooms; a clubroom; kitchen facilities; storage space and spectator toilets.
The club worked in partnership with the Football Foundation and Kent FA to develop a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP) – a long term vision for how sport will be played at the new facility – that is projected to raise on-site participation by 89% and increase Langton CSA’s number of affiliated grassroots teams from 25 to 45.
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth nearly £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of just under £800m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 346 grants worth £15.4m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £31.2m across the whole of Kent.
By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game.
Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work.
George Cohen MBE, 1966 World Cup winner, said: “I was honoured to help officially open Langton Green’s new changing pavilion alongside Greg and my good friend, Lord Pendry. The facilities here are a far cry from those we used back when I played and I am certain they will have a hugely positive impact on the club and its footballers.
“It is vital across the sport, especially at the grassroots level, that facilities are of the highest standard because without them, young people would struggle to enjoy playing the game, let alone progress professionally in it. I want to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their investment and I wish Langton great success for the future.”
The Rt Hon Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation, said: “Opening Langton Green’s new changing room pavilion alongside Greg and George, a great friend of mine, was particularly special.
“As we all know, George won the World Cup – the pinnacle of any footballer’s career and something that should be a huge source of inspiration for the many youngsters involved at Langton. You can achieve anything through hard work and this new changing pavilion will give you a platform to do just that.
“The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund helps maximise such potential, providing the infrastructure through which local people can hone their skills and enjoy their sport. This development will no doubt have a positive impact on Tunbridge Wells’ grassroots footballers and provide a real boost to sport in the wider area.”
The Rt Hon Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, said: “This new sports pavilion will be a wonderful asset for the whole community and shows what can be achieved when it works together. Langton Green CSA has worked incredibly hard to get the pavilion built and with strong support from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and the local Parish Council, its ambition has become reality.
“I am a strong supporter of community sports and I hope that this new facility will encourage even more people – both young and old – to take part.”
Guy Lambert, Chairman of Langton Green CSA, said: “With our club originally founded in 1972, we have been rewarded with this fantastic new facility, awarded to us by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which makes the past 40 years of hard work all worth it.
“I must thank George Cohen, Lord Pendry and our local MP, Greg Clark, for being here today to help unveil our wonderful new pavilion; and also to all the members of Speldhurst Parish Council, in particular Lynn Jeffries and Chris May for their foresight for granting us a 30-year lease at the Recreation ground.
“I must thank all the other trustees of the association for their continued support throughout the project and to Chris Allen, our Director of Football, for all his hard work throughout the process. The new pavilion will benefit the local area, giving the local community a centre from which to enjoy sport, whilst allowing us to increase our participation numbers, making the local community healthier in the process.”
ENDS For more information, please contact:
- Guy Lambert at email@example.com or on 07860 293 184
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