Date published: 22/09/2016
Cllr Pat Murray, Chair of Finance and Management Committee, South Derbyshire District Council and John Harrison, Chairman, Melbourne Sporting Partnership Ltd, officially cut the ribbon.
South Derbyshire District Council (DC) and Melbourne Sporting Partnership Ltd (MSP) opened their new state-of-the-art £1.8m football hub recently (Sunday 11 September 2016). The project was made possible thanks to a £600,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. Cllr Pat Murray, Chairman of South Derbyshire DC and John Harrison, Chairman of MSP, helped open the new facility at Cockshut Lane.
The grant has enabled South Derbyshire DC and MSP to replace their previous changing facility with a brand new two-storey pavilion, comprising: six team changing rooms; three officials’ changing rooms; a clubroom; first aid room; kitchen facilities; spectator toilets and storage equipment. A new 40-space car park has also been built.
The grant has also allowed South Derbyshire DC and MSP to upgrade their existing facilities to include new football, cricket and rugby pitches, and a further three tennis courts, to help encourage multi-sport participation.
Through this project, the club has worked in partnership with the Football Foundation and Derbyshire FA to implement a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP) – a long term vision for how sport will be played at the new facility – that is projected to increase on-site participation by 587%.
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 15,000 grants worth more than £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £800m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
The club worked in partnership with the Derbyshire FA to secure the £600,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 187 grants worth £12m towards grassroots sports projects worth nearly £30m across the whole of Derbyshire.
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.
Cllr Peter Smith, Deputy Chairman of South Derbyshire DC’s Housing and Community Services Committee, said: “Over recent years the Council and its partners have been striving to help deliver a top-class sporting hub and community asset for Melbourne and its surrounding villages.
“What’s been achieved would not have been done so as well without the £600,000 contribution from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and the local community will be eternally grateful for this investment in grassroots sport.”
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 South Derbyshire District Council and Melbourne Sporting Partnership Ltd to upgrade their changing pavilion and pitches. 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 latest project in Derbyshire 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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