Date published: 19/07/2016
A state-of-the-art £588,636 changing facility was officially opened in Ilminster recently (Friday 15 July 2016), thanks to a £244,798 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. The project also received £50,000 from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
The grant has enabled Ilminster Town FC to improve current pitches and replace tired changing rooms with a brand new, multi-functional facility. The new facility comprises: four dual-gender changing rooms; a clubroom; function room; kitchen; parking area and spectator toilets.
The club worked in close partnership with the Football Foundation and Somerset FA to establish a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP) that aims to increase its number of affiliated teams by ten. The FDP will focus on the growth of Mini-Soccer in raising on site participation by 80%.
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 £780m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 207 grants worth £10m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £23m 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.
Darren Manley, Chairman of Ilminster Town FC, said: “It was a special day for Ilminster Town FC to finally have a home we can all be proud of. I'd like to thank Heather Virgin for officially opening the pavilion and the support she and the Gooch Charitable Trust have given us throughout this project. I would like to further thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for the grant they provided towards our project.
“Their grant has enabled us to provide an excellent facility where we can continue to grow our local grassroots football and give all members of our community the opportunity to play. A big thank you to all that have helped Ilminster Town FC to achieve their dream.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “Ilminster Town FC’s new changing rooms mean the club can continue playing at their current level, something that would not have been possible without the generous funding from the Premier League through the FSIF. The club have a comfortable and safe four-team changing room pavilion for members to prepare for matches and training sessions. I look forward to seeing Ilminster Town FC go from strength to strength as a result of this funding.”
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 Ilminster Town to upgrade its pitches and build this fantastic new multipurpose facility. 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 project in Somerset 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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