Date published: 24/07/2013
Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman has officially opened a new community facility for the young people of Bolton at the site of the Bolton Wanderers Academy Lostock.
Funded by the Premier League Community Facilities Fund and Bolton Wanderers Football Club, the Desso 60mm Idna-X Carpet pitch will be used for pure community use by Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Club and Trust Education programmes and Bolton and Bury District Junior Football League at weekends.
The Wanderers boss was joined at the formal plaque unveiling by local children and a host of special guests, including the Premier League's Senior Community Policy Executive, Emma Joussemet, and John Hudson from the Professional Footballers' Association, as well as other VIPs from Bolton Wanderers, BWCT, the Lancashire FA and the BBDJFL.
Activities such as School Holiday Football Courses, Disability Football, Development Centres and Women's Football will all be taking place. The pitch will provide a venue for the Bolton and Bury Junior District Football League to host games throughout the football season and the Club’s own Education programme will be taking advantage of its use during term time.
The Premier League Community Facility Fund (PLCFF), funded by the Premier League and delivered by the Football Foundation, is investing £18m over three years to develop new or refurbished sports facilities for local people across the country. The Fund is open to all football club community-led organisations from the Premier League, Football League, and Football Conference, including the Conference North and South Divisions.
Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: "The Premier League Community Facility Fund is all about providing sports facilities that reinvigorate local communities, and we are extremely pleased that the people of Bolton and the surrounding areas will be able to benefit from this investment.
“This facility is just one example of how football clubs across the country are serving as hubs in their communities to encourage sport participation and make a positive social difference." Established in 1986, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust is an independent registered charity operating on a ‘not for profit’ basis and affiliated to and supported by Bolton Wanderers.
BWCT provide sporting and educational activities across the borough benefiting over 80,000 children a year, working with 150 local schools and providing in excess of 5000 hours of community work annually.
BWCT deliver a range of diverse projects throughout Bolton focusing on lots of different topics such as community cohesion, education, increasing sports participation, health and some traditional football development work – the work undertaken by the Community Trust aims to improve the lives of the local community.
Ian Laithwaite, Head of the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, said: “The funding from Bolton Wanderers FC and the Premier League has provided a much needed facility to the people of Bolton. To open up a club facility for community use has had a huge impact on the participants and helped BWCT raise the aspirations of many young people. The facility will continue to have a large impact on the quality of community and education programmes within Bolton.”