£1.7m worth of grassroots facilities upgraded with investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund across South East

19 grants worth over £1.7million from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund (PL/FA:FF) have been awarded towards grassroots facility projects worth £3.5m between June and December 2015 across the whole of the South East.

Funding from the PL/FA:FF goes towards building new or refurbishing existing floodlit third generation (3G) football turf pitches (FTPs) and changing pavilions.  The Fund also provides smaller grants for vital improvements, such as replacing unsafe goalposts and purchasing pitch maintenance equipment. (See Notes to Editors for a full list of the grants awarded in this period.)

This announcement of the latest round of funding follows the publication of the Government’s new Sport Strategy – Sporting Future:  A New Strategy for an Active Nation – which has seen the Premier League committing even more investment into the grassroots over the next three years.

The Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, have provided £102m between 2013 and 2016 towards the PL/FA:FF.  The Football Foundation targets this investment into areas of greatest need and where it will have maximum effect.  Last season facilities that the Football Foundation upgraded with the Fund’s investment recorded an average increase in football participation of 7%.  Multi-sport participation (i.e. cricket; rugby; netball; etc.) also increased by an average of 8% at those same sites.

This funding includes a £342,265 grant to Communities First which will enable them to refurbish an existing FTP to form a new floodlit 3G FTP.

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, said: “Improving grassroots football facilities is vital to help us get more people involved in the game and nurture our future football stars. This latest £14 million worth of investment, from the Premier League, FA and Government, will benefit community football across the country in locations that need it most.”

Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman of the Premier League, said: “The Football Foundation’s underlying strategy of delivering quality community facilities where they are needed most and can be best utilised is something the Premier League has long-supported. Creating opportunities for young people to play football and get involved with other sports is incredibly important to developing a taste for sport and exercise and all the ancillary benefits that brings to life. It also forges stronger bonds between communities and the professional football clubs sustained by them.”

Martin Glenn, Chief Executive of The FA, said: “The number of grants approved over the past six months is testimony to our commitment to the pursuit of better grassroots football facilities in this country.

“Next year will see even greater intensity – continued investment in vital individual projects such as these and also the opening of the first city football hubs – marking a step-change in the nature of grassroots football provision.”

Nick Bitel, Sport England Chair, said: “Sports pitches and pavilions are used by millions of people each week, so it’s important that we make sure that they’re high quality, welcoming and accessible for everyone.

“We’re proud to be working with the FA, Premier League, Government and Football Foundation to create so many excellent facilities that benefit people now, and for years to come.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This continued investment is improving the capacity and quality of local facilities for people who play their football, and other sports, purely for the love of it.

“Since we were launched in 2000, the Football Foundation has supported over 14,000 grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn.  By securing partnership funding the Foundation maximises the return on our Funding Partners’ investment.  By targeting this investment into areas of greatest need and where it will have the greatest impact, we also maximise the impact of that investment.”

c