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Managerial duo combine to open refurbished all-weather pitch at The Pingle Academy

Managerial duo combine to open refurbished all-weather pitch at The Pingle Academy

Date published: 05/12/2018
Managerial duo combine to open refurbished all-weather pitch at The Pingle Academy
Pingle Academy Assistant Principal, Deb Holland (far right), is joined by Burton Albion FC manager, Nigel Clough (far left), Commercial Director, Fleur Robinson (second left), Chairman, Ben Robinson (centre) and England Under-20 manager, Paul Simpson (second right), at the official opening of the refurbished 3G pitch.

Burton Albion FC manager, Nigel Clough, and England Under-20 boss Paul Simpson teamed up to open a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) at The Pingle Academy recently (Tuesday 4 December). Their new facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant has enabled The Pingle Academy to replace their existing all-weather pitch, which was originally installed in 2005 and had reached the end of its operational life due to heavy usage. The new pitch has been installed with an improved drainage system, refurbished floodlights and replacement boundary fencing to bring the facility up to current guidelines.  

Sitting alongside the school’s grass football and rugby pitches, the upgraded 3G AGP will not only benefit students at the school, but also many partner organisations, such as Woodville Rangers FC, Gresley in The Community, Derby County Community Trust, Burton Albion Community Trust and Burton Junior Football League. Thanks to the pitch becoming a central venue for the League, it is expected that 25 new teams will use the site.

The Pingle Academy were awarded a £239,934 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project.  Working alongside the Football Foundation, South Derbyshire District Council and Derbyshire FA 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 new surface is set to support the formation of several affiliated football teams over the next five years, growing from 48 to 73 teams using the facility. This will contribute to nearly 350 additional people playing football at the site, which represents a 41% growth.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 241 grants worth £9.1m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £17.7m across the whole of Derbyshire FA’s region.

World Cup winning England Under-20 manager, Paul Simpson, said: “You look at the facility and it’s an excellent surface to play on. I’m sure the Pingle Academy and the wider community will benefit from this facility and hopefully there will be some future England players coming through having played football here.”

Nigel Clough, Manager of Burton Albion FC, said: “It’s a great new facility that will be a tremendous asset to the school and the community. Pingle Academy was named the most improved school in all of Derbyshire this year and everyone should be very proud of what they have achieved in getting this project completed.”

Vivien Sharples, Principal at the Academy, said: “We are delighted to welcome Nigel Clough, Ben Robinson and Paul Simpson to open the refurbished facility here at The Pingle Academy. The local community play a significant part in the operation of the school and having some of those people here today to celebrate was very important to us. 

“Securing the funding from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund has enabled us to work with our partners to deliver this excellent facility for the coming years. The pitch is well used during the Academy day by us and our partner schools and then by the local community during the evenings and weekends. We are excited to grow that usage to provide further opportunity for more people to get active so as to improve the physical and mental well-being of our community.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that The Pingle Academy has now opened their state-of-the-art 3G artificial grass pitch in South Derbyshire, thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

“Continuing to improve access to high-quality facilities like this one is a key aim for the Premier League, The FA and the Government. Delivered by the Football Foundation, their funding supports projects for clubs and organisations all over the country and is helping to boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.

“Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Love for our national game, something that can be found across the country, is an integral part of what drives the Foundation and its Funding Partners to keep increasing the standards and quality of our facilities.”

ENDS



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I’m sure the Pingle Academy and the wider community will benefit from this facility and hopefully there will be some future England players coming through having played football here.” - World Cup winning England Under-20 manager, Paul Simpson

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