Tony Hadley was at Chinnor Playing Fields recently (Saturday 19th March 2016), to officially open a new £1.4m sports pavilion.
Hadley, who had a string of hits with the band Spandau Ballet, cut the ribbon at the new facility, which was made possible thanks to a £290,761 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and £100,000 from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).
Grants were also received from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund (£237,000), Chinnor Parish Council (£380,000, plus £158,000 from Section 106), South Oxfordshire District Council (220,000) and Chinnor FC (£10,000).
The funding enabled Chinnor Parish Council to demolish their previous dilapidated changing pavilion and replace it with a state-of-the-art facility, which will also incorporate the Parish Council’s office.
The new pavilion also comprises four changing rooms, two officials’ changing rooms and a function room with kitchen and bar. Additionally, there is now a new maintenance and storage workshop and a car park for 32 cars.
The project will allow Chinnor FC to base predominately adult, but also junior football, at the site along with tennis and a return of cricket and bowls to the venue.
The Football Foundation has worked alongside Oxford FA and Chinnor Parish Council to put together a five-year Football Development Plan, which forecasts increases in the number of teams and participation levels on site as a result of this funding.
The funding has enabled the creation of new girls teams and the introduction of cricket at the site which has been absent for a number of years. There will also be a new Under-17 team. Overall increases should see the number of players increase by 132 over the five years.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 134 grants worth £5m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £19m across the whole of Oxfordshire.
Tony Hadley said: “The new changing pavilion at Chinnor Playing Field is a real credit to everyone involved with the project, and I was delighted to cut the ribbon at the opening.
“The facility now boasts excellent changing rooms, office space, and a function room. Members of Chinnor FC, the local community and Chinnor Parish Council now have a state-of-the-art base from which to work.
“I am also pleased to hear that through the Football Foundation’s five-year Development Plan, there will be increases in participation levels as a result of their funding. Having sports such as cricket and bowls back here is fantastic news, enabling the site to become a multi-sport hub for the area.
“I would like to thank everyone who worked on making the project happen, to the funders for their generous contributions, and I wish Chinnor FC and all the other users of this brilliant facility all the best for the future.”
Pat Haywood, Chairman of Chinnor Parish Council said: “I am so proud of this new facility which will benefit all members of our community and I look forward to the future enhancement of sport in our community. A warm welcome was extended to our local celebrity – Tony Hadley - who officially declared the Pavilion open. Thank you to all the funding bodies for their generosity and invaluable support for this project. The Parish Council is most grateful for the time and effort from the voluntary working group who have made this possible.”
Terry Devine, Chairman Chinnor Football, said: “I would like to thank Tony Hadley for officially opening the new facility. This project has been supported by many funders including the Premier League &The FA Facilities Fund, this new building will improve and support grass roots sport. This is an exciting time for football in Chinnor.”
Andy Earnshaw, Business & Facility Development Manager at Oxfordshire FA, said: “Chinnor are a shining example of an FA Charter Standard Community Club and I am delighted to see they now have the facilities to match their achievements. This project has been over six years in the making and will provide a fantastic home for football and the local community in Chinnor. It has been a pleasure to work with the project team in developing this scheme and securing the funding to deliver it and its completion is a real testament to the hard work and dedication of the both club and Parish Council.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “I am delighted to see that funding from the Premier League has been injected into Chinnor Recreation Ground’s new changing room pavilion. This is a prime example of the Premier League’s commitment to investing money into grassroots football clubs to support their growth and improve facilities, making them safe and fit for purpose. Chinnor FC will benefit greatly from this impressive four-team pavilion, complete with two officials’ changing rooms, function room, spectator toilet facilities and office space for Chinnor Parish Council. I wish the club and local community all the best for the future.”
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 Chinnor Parish Council to upgrade their changing room pavilion. I would also like to thank Tony Hadley for opening the facility.
“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 Chinnor 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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