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Wolves legend Steve Bull MBE unveils brand new changing pavilion for Bilbrook JFC

Wolves legend Steve Bull MBE unveils brand new changing pavilion for Bilbrook JFC

Date published: 18/10/2017
Steve Bull opens Billbrook JFC's new changing pavilion.JPG

Steve Bull MBE, former England and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC striker, officially opened a brand new changing pavilion for Bilbrook JFC recently (Saturday 14 October). The project was completed in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council, and was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Football Foundation. 

This follows Steve Bull’s unveiling of Walsall Council’s new all-weather pitch in June this year, which also received generous investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

The grant has enabled Bilbrook JFC to replace their existing pavilion, which was falling into disrepair, with a state-of-the-art facility. The new pavilion comprises: four team changing rooms; two officials’ changing rooms; a clubroom and bar; a kitchen and spectator toilets with disabled access. 

The club, which was established in 1976, currently has 30 teams ranging from the Under-7 level upwards. Thanks to the new facility, they hope to be able to attract and retain more players in the future, as well as strengthen player pathways from Mini-Soccer to adult. 

Bilbrook JFC worked alongside the Staffordshire 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 site will not only be used by Bilbrook’s players – the Wolves Community Trust plan to hold training and community outreach sessions at the facility. Other users will include Otter & Vixen FC and Gornal Colts FC. A 118% increase in football participation for those between the ages of 14 and 25 is expected as a result.

Increasing girls’ football participation is a key objective for the club, and it is expected to double the number of female teams each season that will provide a path to the open-age team. This supports the expected 89% boost in female football participation at the site across all ages.

The club worked in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council and Staffordshire FA to secure a £484,529 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. The City of Wolverhampton Council also contributed £350,000 to the project.

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 204 grants worth £16.2m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £30m across the whole of Staffordshire.

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.

Steve Bull MBE, who scored 306 goals for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC across 506 appearances, said: “I am honoured that the club invited me to unveil their brand new changing pavilion, and it’s fantastic to see it already in use. As a former player, I believe that it is vital for youngsters to have access to state-of-the-art facilities, which aid their development. 

“Grassroots sport is so important to communities like this one, because it brings people together and gets them active and healthy. Having a great site to train at helps to inspire love of the game from a young age, and I’m sure this new facility will help Bilbrook JFC to keep its players happy!

“This is the second Football Foundation site I have helped to unveil, and I was very pleased to have this chance. I am a big supporter of the Foundation, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government through Sport England, as they are helping to deliver grassroots facilities like this up and down the country.”

Dave Maydew, Chairman of Bilbrook JFC, said: “We would like to thank Steve Bull for officially opening our new changing pavilion. We are extremely grateful to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, Wolverhampton City Council and all the teams associated with this scheme in making this project a reality. 

“This development will keep football on the site for generations to come. Grassroots sports is what it is all about, giving kids a safe environment to play, improve their skills and develop into young adults and make friends along the way.”

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 Bilbrook JFC join thousands of local clubs who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of a new changing pavilion. I’d like to thank Steve Bull MBE for taking the time to officially 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 contact:
- Rebecca Harris on 07970 923 112 or bilbrook@virginmedia.com 
- Niall Malone on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4275 or niall.malone@footballfoundation.org.uk


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"Grassroots sport is so important to communities like this one, because it brings people together and gets them active and healthy. Having a great site to train at helps to inspire love of the game from a young age, and I’m sure this new facility will help Bilbrook JFC to keep its players happy!"- Steve Bull MBE

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