Date published: 18/07/2016
A state-of-the-art £284,415 changing room pavilion was officially opened in Salford recently (Sunday 10 July), thanks to a £165,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. The project also received £50,000 from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
The development has enabled AFC Monton, who are enjoying their centenary year, to extend their community outreach facility to Eccles College and seven other local schools. The facility comprises: two changing rooms; two officials’ rooms; a large community room; kitchen facilities and spectator toilets.
The club worked in partnership with the Football Foundation and Lancashire FA to establish a five year Football Development Plan (FDP), that is expected to see its numbers of teams grow from 17 to 25. The FDP is also projected to increase on-site participation by 109%.
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 14,000 grants worth more than £560m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £780m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 445grants worth £21m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £48m across the whole of Lancashire.
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.
Brian Barker, Chairman of AFC Monton, said: "The club wishes to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their financial support which has enabled the club to provide a new state-of-the-art clubhouse, which will help improve grassroots sport. We would also like to thank Rugby League Legend Adrian Morley for officially opening the building."
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said:“Improving facilities at the grassroots tier of the football pyramid is so important because it allows clubs like AFC Monton to progress. The club now meet the relevant ground grading criteria to continue playing at their current level thanks to the investment from the Premier League. The development will have a significant impact on the playing experiences of club members, and I wish AFC Monton all the best for the coming season.”
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 AFC Monton to upgrade their new changing facility. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.
“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 Salford 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 of it and to stay healthy.”
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