Date published: 27/10/2014
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP officially opened Freshford United FC’s new £89,472 changing rooms recently. The project was made possible thanks to a £59,472 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
Freshford United FC received funding to demolish their dilapidated old timber changing pavilion and to refurbish and reconfigure an existing Scout Hut to create a new changing room pavilion at their Browns Park home.
The refurbished pavilion provides two changing rooms to serve the full-size grass pitch at the site. The improvements have also included officials’ changing accommodation, new toilets and a small club room.
The new facility will help sustain usage of the Browns Park site and continue to support Freshford United FC and other clubs that hire the pitch. The club plays its football in the Trowbridge and District League, currently operating one senior team. The club used to operate a greater number of teams but many disbanded a few years ago, with one reason being the lack of suitable facilities.
There is a desire within the club to re-establish a second senior team and form a youth section. The pitch at Browns Park is also hired out to Holt FC Under-16 for their matches and Larkhall Athletic Under-16 has also expressed an interest in using the pitch.
The club worked in partnership with the Somerset FA to secure a £59,472grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Premier League and 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 awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £500m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £700m – over £1.2bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 117 grants worth £7.6m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £17.7m across the whole of Somerset.
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.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North East Somerset, commented: “It was a real honour to cut the ribbon at the opening of Freshford United FC’s refurbished changing rooms. The new facility will be an excellent resource for both the club and local community to use for many years to come. I am very grateful l to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their investment into my constituency and to the members of the club who have worked so hard to make this project a reality.”
Chris Birleson, Manager of Freshford United FC, said: “The new facilities have enabled us to appeal to the village and we have been able to form a youth team in Freshford, after 15 years without one. With the help of The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund we are now able to start taking the club forward and attract more people from the surrounding areas to get involved with football by being able to accommodate a wider range of age groups.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “The Football Foundation is responsible for managing and delivering the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England. This facility is an example of the positive impact that this funding is having on our grassroots game. First-class facilities like this are crucial to creating more opportunities for local people to enjoy regular sport. A special thanks must go to Jacob Rees-Mogg MP for taking time out to open this facility.
“Aided by the Somerset FA, Freshford United FC deserves huge credit for taking a vision and turning it into a reality, using funding provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Sport has the power to make a positive impact on the health of communities and this wonderful new facility will improve the sporting experience of local people and encourage them to be more active.”
For more information contact:
Chris Birleson on 07738 741 477 or email@example.com
Bradley Cleveland on 0845 345 4555 Ext: 4282 or firstname.lastname@example.org