Date published: 27/07/2016
Chris Foy, Former Premier League Referee, helped unveil the new facility.
Former Premier League Referee, Chris Foy and Cllr Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, officially unveiled Cheshire East Council’s new £450,000 changing room pavilion at King George V Playing Fields recently (Monday 25 July 2016). Cheshire FA’s COO, Alex Bedford, was also in attendance.
The project was made possible thanks to a £137,424 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
The grant has enabled Cheshire East Council to refurbish their 50-year-old changing facility to comprise: eight players’ changing rooms; an officials’ changing room; storage equipment and spectator toilets.
The club worked in partnership with the Football Foundation and Cheshire FA to develop a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP) – a vision for football delivery at the facility – in which the site is set to become a central venue for the County FA’s Charter Standard Youth Leagues, projecting on-site participation to increase by 106%.
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 £787m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 301 grants worth £15.2m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £29.4m across the whole of Cheshire.
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.
Chris Foy, Head of Community and Public Engagement at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, said: “I was delighted to attend the opening of Cheshire East Council’s new changing pavilion. The facility will provide the local community with a quality changing room, enabling grassroots players and referees to enjoy playing football purely for the love of doing so.
“Having refereed across all levels of the game, I understand the real value of facilities like this one in Cheshire because they support the broader infrastructure of grassroots sport. The changing room will really help to open up future opportunities to get players and referees involved in the sport.
“I would like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, whose continued investment into grassroots football ensures projects like these are able to make a real impact at the lowest levels of the game.”
Alex Bedford, Chief Operating Officer of the Cheshire FA, said: “It is excellent to see construction at King George V Playing Fields complete, and I was delighted to officially open the new changing rooms. The development will have such a positive impact on the local community – the site is going to be used by a wide range of local grassroots clubs, as well as becoming Cheshire FA’s central venue for the Charter Standard Youth Leagues.
“It is so important that money continues to filter down into the grassroots level, and without the grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, through the Football Foundation, developments like this one would not be possible. I would like to thank everyone involved with the project for their hard work and commitment in making these fantastic facilities a reality.”
Cllr Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The improvements to the facilities at the King George Playing Fields are a fabulous addition to sporting assets in Crewe. I am sure they will be welcomed by all the teams who use them and will help to boost participation in sport locally. The refurbishment has transformed the pavilion and given it a new lease of life.
“Support from the Football Foundation and Cheshire FA was crucial to making the project happen. I’d like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund grant of £137,000 which helped us to make the improvements.”
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 Cheshire East Council to upgrade their changing room pavilion. 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 Cheshire 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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