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New Sports Centre opens in South Devon to boost community sport

New Sports Centre opens in South Devon to boost community sport

Date published: 28/01/2019

Press release

New Sports Centre opens in South Devon to boost community sport

A state-of-the-art sports centre including a Football Foundation funded third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP), was officially opened at South Devon College recently (Friday 25 January). Their new facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant has enabled South Devon College to install a new 106m x 70m floodlit 3G AGP alongside its sports centre, which will become the official home to the Pro: Direct Devon Football Academy. The Academy currently involves 65 dedicated students training several times a week playing matches all over the country.

The new sports hub at the college comprises of the all-weather pitch, changing rooms and a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) - inspiring all individuals to participate and enjoy spectator sports. In addition to this, sport education and training programmes from both the college and neighbouring South Devon High School will be delivered at the site.

Designed with a strong emphasis on local community, the South Devon Sports Centre will act as a central sports hub for college students as well as residents across South Devon, who will have access to the facilities for a wide range of sports and activities including football and netball.

South Devon College were awarded a £500,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The college worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Devon County 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.

More than 1,500 people are expected to start playing football on the pitch over the next five years. The creation of nearly 40 affiliated football teams will also support a huge growth in the number of participants playing competitive football. Of this, the formation of five female teams will support 88 players within this demographic.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 235 grants worth £10.3m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £19.6m across the whole of Devon County FA region.

Lynn Squire, Head of Sport, Leisure and Hospitality Industries at South Devon College, said: “It’s a great pleasure of mine to witness the completion of the Sports Centre. The world-class facilities provide a huge opportunity for the College to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in local sport and physical activities.

“We are very thankful for the collaborated efforts of all involved in the project, including the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund who have especially helped bring the Sports Centre to life. The new Centre will also bring a great benefit to the wider community in developing future supporting talent.”

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 South Devon College has now opened their state-of-the-art Sports Centre in the Torbay area 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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Quote

“The world-class facilities provide a huge opportunity for the College to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in local sport and physical activities.- Lynn Squire, Head of Sport, Leisure and Hospitality Industries at South Devon College

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