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Shrewsbury Town in the Community unveils new sports hub in Shropshire

Shrewsbury Town in the Community unveils new sports hub in Shropshire

Date published: 01/09/2017
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Jamie Edwards, Head of Community for Shrewsbury Town FC (far left), Steve Brotherwood, South Shropshire Development Manager for Shrewsbury Town in the Community (far right) and Dave Ralphs, Chairman of the Shropshire FA (centre left) were please to welcome Cllr. Diane Lyle from Ludlow Town Council (centre right) to the new football hub.

Shrewsbury Town in the Community (STITC), in partnership with the Shropshire FA, officially unveiled their state-of-the-art football hub recently (Sunday 27 August), thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. 

The grant has enabled STITC, the official charity of Shrewsbury Town FC, to undertake a major refurbishment project. The stadium, which was previously under-used and neglected, comprises a large clubhouse, a third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) and a floodlit natural grass pitch. Essential improvements have been made to the clubhouse to ensure it remains functional, whilst the 3G AGP and grass pitch have undergone surface improvement works. 

The project has secured the future of the site, with the help of the Shropshire FA, which will be STITC’s South Shropshire hub. It will house a permanent Football Development Officer who will help to deliver the five-year Football Development Plan – a vision of how sport will be played on site, with an emphasis on increasing participation. 

This Football Development Plan, compiled by Shrewsbury Town in the Community alongside the Shropshire FA and the Football Foundation, will be at the heart of the Community Trust’s business plan to ensure that the facility operates in a sustainable way. This is in addition to a number of wider objectives for the Trust relating to education, healthy living and community safety. 

STITC will be a major user of the site, along with their three partner clubs: Ludlow FC; Ludlow Town JFC and Ludlow Ladies FC. It is expected that 28 new teams will be established across the partner clubs, and STITC will introduce disability football sessions with the objective of creating a team to compete in the Ability Counts League. 

A girls’ Football Coaching Centre for Under-10 and upwards is planned, which will boost female football participation at the site. FA Skills sessions will also be held for local schools and during holiday time. Overall sports participation at the Stadium hub is expected to increase by 2,660%. 

Shrewsbury Town in the Community worked in partnership with the Shropshire FA to secure a £70,335 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. 

Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England. It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth more than £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £800m – £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game. 

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 124 grants worth £7.8m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £30m across the whole of Shropshire

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. 

Dave Ralphs, Chairman of the Ludlow Stadium Football Partnership, said: “We plan to support the development of junior and senior football in the area and help create a community hub and focus for all of the football clubs involved in the partnership. We owe a great debt to the new landowner, the Shropshire FA, Shrewsbury Town in the Community, Dave McDermott of the Football Foundation, Ludlow Town Council, local clubs and of course the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, for ensuring the project came to fruition.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides the investment necessary to improve grassroots football facilities. So, I am delighted to see STITC and the Shropshire FA join thousands of local clubs and organisations who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of an upgraded sports hub. 

“Having delivered over £1.4bn of grassroots sports infrastructure projects, the Football Foundation has developed a network of accessible, first-class facilities in areas they will have the greatest impact – thanks to money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England.

“These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who also use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.” 

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
- Roy Waterfield on 01743 362 769 or roy.waterfield@shropshirefa.com
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk


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“We plan to support the development of junior and senior football in the area and help create a community hub and focus for all of the football clubs involved in the partnership." - Dave Ralphs, Chairman of Ludlow Stadium Football Partnership

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