Date published: 08/07/2016
Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, presented a £459,486 cheque to Danson Sports FC and London Borough of Bexley. The funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, will go towards a new floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP).
The grant will enable Danson Sports and the London Borough of Bexley to refurbish their current sand-dressed AGP to create the new floodlit 3G AGP with a spectator viewing area. There is currently a shortage of floodlit sites in the area, making the pitch a much-needed facility for local teams including: Crayford Arrows FC and Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT), who hope to use the site for holiday courses.
The Football Foundation has worked in partnership with Danson Sports FC, London Borough of Bexley and London FA to put together a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP), which is a vision for how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increases in participation.
The plan predicts growth in Danson’s teams from 36 to 54, providing football for men and women across all age ranges. The club have plans to increase the number of female teams to nine including a women’s open age team, as well as doubling their male senior teams and Under-21s and Under-18s teams. The club have also started discussions with the South London Special League to host their matches.
London Borough of Bexley are supporting the club with the project providing procurement support, supervision support and project cash flow.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded grants worth £4.5m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £24m across the whole of the Bexley borough. This includes a £28,558 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund to Crayford Arrows Sports Club towards replacement floodlights and real grass pitch improvements.
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.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has supported more than 14,000 grassroots projects worth over £1.3 billion.
Steve Wicks, Chairman of Danson Sports FC, said: “Danson Sports is committed to providing affordable access to quality facilities, and an upgrade to 3G enables us to extend this beyond our own membership to other grassroots clubs and community organisations in the local area. We are immensely proud of the grant award from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund which we feel reflects the ambition and dedication of the club’s management committee to increasing participation and physical activity.”
Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, said: “The opportunity this project can give to our community is invaluable. Investment in grassroots football is crucial to help children to develop and grow – not just as footballers but as leaders and people. The investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund will significantly enhance the facility here. I am sure that the local community will embrace this new site that will benefit schools, clubs and professional teams in the area too.”
Cllr Peter Craske, Cabinet Member for the London Borough of Bexley, said: “This is a real boost for sport in Bexley and we are delighted to be part of a project that will encourage residents of all ages to be more active. Congratulations to Danson Sports FC for their drive and commitment in making this project happen. They have gone from strength to strength since taking on the management of the site from the Council in 2013 and have shown how community groups can step up and rise to the challenge. We look forward to helping them achieve their aspirations, getting started on the build and to the day when this site is once again filled with people running around and enjoying the investment from the Football Foundation!”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Congratulations should go to Danson Sports FC and the London Borough of Bexley for working with the London FA to secure this Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund grant. I must thank David Evennett MP for presenting the cheque to the club.
“Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded 284 grants worth £27.7m across London towards grassroots sports projects worth nearly £68m with money generously provided by our funders: the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England.”
For more information contact:
- Steve Wicks on 07956 344 350 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alice Sherritt on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or email@example.com