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Vernon Coaker MP delighted to unveil Redhill Academy's new all-weather pitch

Vernon Coaker MP delighted to unveil Redhill Academy’s new all-weather pitch

Date published: 12/10/2017
Vernon Coaker MP delighted to unveil Redhill Academy’s new all-weather pitch
Vernon Coaker, MP for Gedling (centre), was joined by the Mayor of Gedling, Cllr. Vivienne McCrossen (second from left) and the Executive Principal of the Redhill Academy Trust, Andrew Burns OBE (third from right) to unveil the brand new all-weather pitch in Nottinghamshire.

Vernon Coaker, MP for Gedling, had the honour of officially opening Redhill Academy’s state-of-the-art third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) in Nottinghamshire recently (Friday 6 October). The project was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. The MP was joined by the Leader of the Gedling Borough Council, Cllr. John Clarke, the Mayor of Gedling, Cllr. Vivienne McCrossen and Redhill Academy Trust's Executive Principal Andrew Burns OBE. 

The grant has enabled Redhill Academy Trust, in partnership with Gedling Borough Council, to replace their existing sand-dressed AGP – originally installed 20 years ago and in very poor condition – with a brand new floodlit all-weather playing surface. The school is delighted to be able to provide its students and partner clubs with the state-of-the-art facility. 

The new pitch, which will not only benefit the school’s 1,450 pupils, will also be used by partner clubs Gedling Southbank FC and Arnold Town FC. Kimberley Miners Welfare FC and other community clubs will also have access to the new facility, and it is expected that overall football participation will increase by 197% at the site as a result. 

Nottingham Forest FC, through their Community Trust, has links with the school and will deliver development sessions at the new pitch. Additionally, the Nottinghamshire FA plan to deliver coaching and leadership education, as well as Safeguarding and Emergency Aid courses, at the facility. 

The Redhill Academy Trust and Gedling Borough Council worked alongside the Nottinghamshire FA and the Football Foundation to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation. 

Across both partner clubs it is expected that 40 brand new teams will be introduced, which will take their combined total from 55 to 95. Of this, 14 will be female sides, including three adult women’s sides. As a result, a 482% boost is predicted for female football participation at the site. 

The club worked in partnership with the Nottinghamshire FA to secure a £381,309 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 243 grants worth £14.5m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £25.4m across the whole of Nottinghamshire

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. 

Vernon Coaker, MP for Gedling, said: “I am delighted that this brand new all-weather pitch will have such a positive impact on football participation in our area. It is so important that pupils and community members alike have access to state-of-the-art grassroots sports sites locally, which will help to encourage people to enjoy being active. 

“I’d like to thank the school for inviting me to officially unveil the new all-weather pitch, which will be a real asset to the area. The Football Foundation, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government through Sport England, is doing excellent work in delivering these facilities across England – helping to create jobs, provide a social outlet and get people fit.”

Andrew Burns OBE, Executive Principal of the Redhill Academy Trust, said: “This great new facility will benefit all our students both within lessons and for after-school sport. We are delighted that the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has made this possible. The Redhill Academy has a great reputation for PE and sport and this new high-quality sporting provision will enable us to maintain this long into the future.” 

Councillor Henry Wheeler, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Health and Well-being, said: “I am delighted that these brand new facilities at Redhill Academy are now open and I would like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, for helping to make this happen. These facilities will improve grassroots sports in the region and give the young people a great opportunity to use excellent facilities on their doorstep.”

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 Redhill Academy Trust and Gedling Borough Council join thousands of local clubs and organisations who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of a 3G AGP. I’d like to thank the MP, Vernon Coaker, for taking the time to unveil the facility. 

“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:
- Rob McCleary on 01159 013 773 or rob.mccleary@gedling.gov.uk 
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk


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"It is so important that pupils and community members alike have access to state-of-the-art grassroots sports sites locally, which will help to encourage people to enjoy being active." - Vernon Coaker, MP for Gedling

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