Local clubs win pitch funding
148 pitches in Northumberland and Newcastle to benefit from £110,050 Pitch Preparation Funding
Football pitches across Northumberland FA are set to be enhanced thanks to £110,050 worth of investment from a new scheme set up by the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.
The Pitch Preparation Fund was set up in support of the game, which is currently facing unprecedented challenges because of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is providing grants to clubs that have lost out on normal revenue streams during this difficult period and helping them to get their pitches ready for when it is safe to play football again, following Government advice.
The Fund was greeted with a hugely positive response in the two-and-a-half weeks the application window was open during May.
As a result, £110,050 has been awarded to 45 clubs and organisations. This will allow 148 football pitches to be made match-fit, benefiting 485 local football teams.
How Northumberland and Newcastle will benefit from the Pitch Preparation Fund in numbers:
- A total of 45 grants awarded
- £110, 050 of investment
- 148 football pitches improved
- 485 football teams benefiting
- 34 grassroots clubs awarded grants
- 11clubs in the National League System awarded grants
As a result of the exposure of the Pitch Preparation Fund, the Football Foundation also received an increase of 176% in its regular facility grant applications during May, compared with April. So many more football sites will be improved over and above those receiving Pitch Preparation Fund grants.
Robert Sullivan, Interim Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This new investment into Northumberland and Newcastle will provide crucial support for football in the area.
“Our national game is a proven driver of mental and physical health benefits, so it’s important local pitches are match-fit in the event that the Government announces it’s safe for the game to start again.
“That is why we’ve worked with the Premier League, The FA, the Government and Sport England to set up the Pitch Preparation Fund. These grants we’re announcing today will help ensure 485 pitches across the region are in a good condition when the time comes.”
Andrew Rose-Cook, Northumberland FA's Acting Chief Executive, said: We're delighted that so many of our clubs will benefit from this Football Foundation funding. We know from our own research that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our local clubs and teams, and this money will go a long way to helping them get ready to welcoming their players back to football."
The grants awarded will help with essential maintenance works toward grass pitches, including vertical decompaction, slitting, over seeding, fertilising and weedkilling, as well as routine preparatory works such as grass cutting and the setting out and line marking of pitches. For artificial surfaces, eligible works include deep cleaning, overmarking and FA pitch testing.
Clubs and other organisations are also being given access to the Football Foundation Groundskeeping Community. This is a free online resource the Foundation developed with The FA and the Grounds Management Association, containing advice and guidance. Anyone in the region can sign up at https://thefa.hivelearning.com/groundskeeping.
The Football Foundation is a charity funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England.
About the Football Foundation
The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK. It champions and supports fair access to quality football facilities for everyone, regardless of postcode, gender, race, disability or place.
The Foundation receives money from the Premier League, The FA and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, through Sport England. This is matched with partnership funding and awarded as grants to create outstanding grassroots facilities that enable better games and attract more players, helping to transform communities.
The Football Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Since 2000, it has awarded more than 17,600 grants to improve facilities worth more than £708m – including 885 artificial grass pitches, 3,587 natural grass pitches and 1,210 changing facilities. This has attracted an additional £885m of partnership funding – totalling over £1.5bn investment in grassroots football so far.
Through the Foundation, the Premier League, The FA, DCMS and Sport England have come together to create the National Football Facilities Strategy (NFFS) that will guide work over the next ten years to transform many more local facilities. Local Football Facility Plans (LFFP) are being created to identify priority projects where demand is greatest, and the impact will be strongest and help stimulate the action required to deliver them.
Visit footballfoundation.org.uk for more information on the Foundation.