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'Fantastic' Bristol facility is unveiled by FA Chairman Greg Dyke

'Fantastic’ Bristol facility is unveiled by FA Chairman Greg Dyke

Date published: 13/11/2013
FA Chairman Greg Dyke has officially opened new state of the art football facilities at the Gloucestershire County FA’s Almondsbury headquarters

FA Chairman Greg Dyke has officially opened new state of the art football facilities at the Gloucestershire County FA’s Almondsbury headquarters.

Developed with the help of a £420,296 Football Foundation grant that was awarded to the Gloucestershire County FA, the new facilities at Oaklands Park were officially unveiled by FA Chairman Greg Dyke on the evening of Friday 8 November. The ceremony was also attended by Gloucestershire FA Chairman and Chairman of The FA’s National Game Board, Roger Burden, Chief Executive of the Gloucestershire FA, David Neale, and Football Foundation Chief Executive, Paul Thorogood.

The new facilities provide all-weather coaching facilities for local clubs and schools, and coaching for girls and disabled players in the venue’s two player development centres now takes place on a weekly basis.

The facility comprises a full-size third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch to FIFA 1* standard, together with six refurbished changing rooms and enhanced spectator facilities. Importantly the 3G playing surface comes with floodlights, which means that football at the site does not have to stop as soon as it becomes dark at 4pm in the winter months. The Almondsbury site will become a key hub for clubs at all levels of the grassroots game to train and perform on, whether it be Mini-soccer, 9v9 or the traditional 11v11 format for teenagers and adults.

Greg Dyke, Chairman of The FA, said: “It is a real honour to be unveiling these fantastic new facilities, which will provide an important hub for grassroots football development in this part of the South West.

“This site is the first Football Foundation-funded facility that I will have had the pleasure of officially opening since becoming FA Chairman, and with the grassroots and home-grown talent high on the game’s agenda and at the heart of our 150th anniversary celebrations this year, it could not be more timely or more topical.

“Congratulations should go to the Gloucestershire County FA and to all of the local partner organisations and grassroots clubs for making this stunning complex a reality.

“The FA has helped to develop 1,700 sites like this across the country, through the Football Foundation, and we will continue to work with the other partners, the Premier League and the Government, via Sport England, to continue to rebuild our grassroots infrastructure.”

Funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England), the Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 9,600 grants worth more than £412m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £565m.

Across the area covered by Gloucestershire FA, the Foundation has awarded 119grants worth £10m towards grassroots sports projects worth nearly £24m.

Gloucestershire FA Chief Executive, David Neale, enthused: “Football Foundation funding has enabled us to build a first-class facility that will help us develop and inspire both this, and the next generation, of grassroots players, coaches and referees.”

“The new facilities will provide significant new opportunities for young people in the area as we now offer both match day and coaching facilities for local clubs and schools, unaffected by wet weather through the winter months.”

Gloucestershire FA Chairman, Roger Burden, said: “These excellent new facilities will hugely benefit local clubs and schools in the area. The 3G surface and changing rooms will help drive participation and football development in this part of Gloucestershire, and I am delighted that FA Chairman Greg Dyke was able to join us in unveiling the site in style.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “Foundation partners’ investment has supported 119 projects across Gloucestershire with £10m worth of grants since we were launched in 2000 by the Premier League, The FA and the Government.

“This new complex at Oaklands Park is the latest to be unveiled, and will make a huge difference to grassroots football in the area, by ensuring that many more people, of all ages, will be able to access regular sporting opportunities.”

For more information about the work the Football Foundation is doing all over the country, visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn

Alternatively, contact:
• Simon Parkinson by e-mail at Simon.Parkinson@GloucestershireFA.com
• Abi Jones on 0845 345 4555 Ext: 4282 or abigail.jones@footballfoundation.org.uk


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“This site is the first Football Foundation-funded facility that I will have had the pleasure of officially opening since becoming FA Chairman, and with the grassroots and home-grown talent high on the game’s agenda and at the heart of our 150th anniversary celebrations this year, it could not be more timely or more topical.”

Greg Dyke, Chairman of The FA

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