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Frickley Athletic FC legend Russ Wilcox delighted to unveil club's new changing pavilion

Frickley Athletic FC legend Russ Wilcox delighted to unveil club’s new changing pavilion

Date published: 06/11/2017
 Frickley Athletic FC legend Russ Wilcox delighted to unveil club’s new changing pavilion

Russ Wilcox, former Frickley Athletic FC player, officially opened the club's state-of-the-art new changing pavilion recently (Tuesday 31 October), thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation – the country’s largest sports charity. The project also received a grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country. 

The funding has enabled Frickley Athletic FC, which plays in the Northern Premier League First Division South, to build a brand new changing pavilion at their Westfield Lane ground. This replaces the ground’s two existing changing rooms, in poor condition due to age, which will be removed with a view to developing space for the club’s youth academy. 

The new pavilion will be used by Frickley Athletic’s seven teams, as well as partner club South Elmsall United JFC and other local clubs and organisations. The facility comprises: four team changing rooms; two officials’ changing rooms; a disabled access changing room; a first aid room; an office space; a multi-use clubroom; a kitchen; spectator toilets and storage facilities. 

Frickley Athletic FC worked alongside the Sheffield and Hallamshire 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. 

The state-of-the-art facility, which is helping to improve the lack of changing provision in grassroots sport for the south Wakefield area, means the Step 4 club is able to provide its players with a more comfortable experience. They now plan to establish a new youth section with two teams. South Elmsall United JFC will also benefit from the new pavilion, and expect to introduce eight new teams as a result – taking their total from six to 14. 

The project was made possible thanks to a £358,790 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and a £100,000 grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund. The project also received £50,000 from the Sport England Inspired 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.

Funded with £6.5m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters. 

Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 327 grants worth £12m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £25.7m across the whole of Sheffield and Hallamshire

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. 

Ryan McKnight, Frickley Athletic FC’s Director, said: “This building has a great chance to elevate the football back into the minds of local people and business. We’re so thankful to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, the FSIF and all of the other funding partners in helping to bring this project to life. We can’t wait to see it full of community and club activity very soon.” 

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia improvement Fund, said: “This state-of-the-art changing pavilion for Frickley Athletic FC will hugely benefit the club’s players. It offers the club and other users a safe, comfortable experience which will help to foster love of the game. I am pleased that Premier League funding has helped to bring this project to fruition. 

“By raising the standard of stadia for clubs at non-league levels, the Premier League is helping to inspire players all over the country. Frickley Athletic’s new pavilion is yet another example of how the Premier League’s money, delivered by the FSIF, is improving football at lower levels of the game.” 

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 Frickley Athletic FC join thousands of local clubs who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of a brand new changing pavilion. I'd like to thank Russ Wilcox 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:
- Penny Wall on 07967 434 285 or at penwall@hotmail.co.uk 
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk


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"This building has a great chance to elevate the football back into the minds of local people and business. We can’t wait to see it full of community and club activity very soon."- Ryan McKnight, Frickley Athletic FC's Director

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