Date published: 07/10/2014
Football Foundation President, Lord Tom Pendry, officially opened Stalybridge Celtic Juniors’ refurbished changing rooms recently. The new state-of-the-art facility, located in Lord Pendry’s former constituency of Stalybridge and Hyde, was made possible thanks to a £90,844 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.
Lord Pendry, who lives in Stalybridge and who also has a stand named after him at Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold home, was given a tour of the refurbished facility which now contains two large changing rooms and a club room which will allow the club to provide a safe and comfortable environment for players, coaches and parents. The club room will help to generate other revenue streams for the club and also allow for coach education to take place at the site.
Stalybridge Celtic Juniors, who currently run 11 teams and a hugely popular Saturday Soccer School, will increase the number of teams at the club to 28 and create clearer pathways for players to join the adult section as a result of this investment. Female football at the club will, in particular, be boosted by the creation of new girls’ Mini-Soccer teams and the introduction of a women’s Under 18 section.
The club worked in partnership with the Cheshire FA to secure a £90,844 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. Since 2000 the Football Foundation funding partners’ investment has provided 145 grants worth £5.1m towards grassroots sports projects worth £8.3m across the whole of Tameside.
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 by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and Lord Pendry, 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.
Gary Pearce, Chairman of Stalybridge Celtic Juniors, said “The Club would like to thank Lord Pendry for opening the new clubhouse and also the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Without their generous funding we would not have been able to carry out this work. The new clubhouse will benefit all the children who play for Stalybridge Celtic Juniors and attend our Soccer School. It will also give us a base to develop the skills of our coaches and attract more volunteers who we depend on to make this club what it is.”
Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation, commented: “It was a privilege to officially open the refurbished clubhouse at Stalybridge Celtic Juniors. This facility will have a hugely positive effect on grassroots sport and the community in Stalybridge. I have seen first-hand just how much effort is put in by volunteers at the club all year round and I look forward to seeing the club go from strength to strength as a result of the funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.”
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