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All smiles in Solihull as Dame Caroline Spelman MP unveils new multi-sport hub

All smiles in Solihull as Dame Caroline Spelman MP unveils new multi-sport hub

Date published: 29/06/2017
 All smiles in Solihull as Dame Caroline Spelman MP unveils new multi-sport hub
Dame Caroline Spelman MP and Cllr Stuart Davis officially unveiling the new multi-sport facility.

MP for Meriden, Dame Caroline Spelman, and Mayor of Solihull, Cllr. Stuart Davis, officially opened Dickens Heath Sports Club’s new multi-sport hub recently (Sunday 25 June 2017).

The project was made possible thanks to grants from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, and the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF). Sport England provided further investment.

The grants have enabled Dickens Heath Sports Club to refurbish their changing room pavilion and upgrade all of the club’s Mini-Soccer and full-size pitches. Thanks to the works, local delivery partners Tanworth & Camp Hill CC and Leafield Athletic Ladies FC now meet their respective leagues’ infrastructure requirements, enabling them to widen their recruitment from satellite schools, and subsequently increase sports participation in the area. 

In order to maximise the facility’s usage by the local community, Dickens Heath Sports Club worked alongside the Football Foundation and Birmingham FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan – a long-term vision of how sport will be played on-site.

Through this plan, Leafield Athletic Ladies FC will call the new facilities home, which will create a player pathway through to adult football; changes which are projected to create four new teams and raise football participation by 84%. 

The new multi-purpose pavilion comprises: two team changing rooms; two officials’ changing rooms; a redesigned clubhouse with disabled facilities, and spectator toilets.  

Dickens Heath Sports Club worked in partnership with the Birmingham County FA to secure a £150,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. The project also received £50,000 from the Premier League, through the FSIF, and £103,000 from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities and Protecting Playing Fields funds.

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. It 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 £800m – over £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 429 grants worth £26m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £61m across the whole of Birmingham.

Dame Caroline Spelman, who has been the MP for the Meriden area since 1997, said: “I am delighted to open this new state-of-the-art sports hub. It is a great addition to the community and will play a significant role in improving grassroots sports participation in the area.

“Providing this range of excellent facilities would not have been possible without the hard work of Dickens Heath Sports Club in securing this grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts.”

The club’s Chairmen, Peter Carey and Dan Hearnden, said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which will enable us to upgrade the quality of our football and cricket pitches, refurbish the clubhouse and add new changing rooms. The project has been made possible by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and Sport England.

“It is our strategy to get the club fully integrated in the local area to maximise our membership by offering junior and adult competition in cricket and football to anyone who wants to join a local sports club.

“We also would like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and Sport England for their help in getting the grants and the management of them. We also want to thank our local MP Dame Caroline Spelman and the Solihull Mayor Cllr. Stuart Davis for opening our new facilities.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Dickens Heath Sports Club to build a new changing pavilion and upgrade their pitches.  This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area and a special thanks must go to Dame Caroline Spelman MP for offically opening the new facility.

“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports. 

“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in Solihull is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love if it and to stay healthy.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
- Philip Webb on 07960 647110 / 01926 494807 or philipsswebb@gmail.com
- Michael Boniface on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or michael.boniface@footballfoundation.org.uk


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“Providing this range of excellent facilities would not have been possible without the hard work of Dickens Heath Sports Club in securing this grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts.”

Dame Caroline Spelman,
MP for Meriden

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