Plymouth Council unveil new £410,000 football pitch upgrade
Plymouth City Council officially opened their state-of-the-art £409,460 pitch upgrade at Staddiscombe Playing Fields in Devon recently, thanks to a £249,460 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
The grant has enabled Plymouth City Council to extend existing facilities by improving drainage across all eight of their pitches, solving previous issues of waterlogging. This will ensure that the club have a quality playing surface for both training and competition over the course of the 2016/17 season and beyond.
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 14,000 grants worth more than £560m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £780m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
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.
Plymouth City Council also received National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields fund, which provides grants to preserve and improve playing surfaces across the country. The club have been awarded £50,000 from Sport England to help cover the cost of the pitch improvement works.
Cllr Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Culture, Plymouth City Council, said:“Staddiscombe is one of the most popular playing pitches in Plymouth but they have been plagued by drainage problems. We need to make sure our playing pitches are fit for the job. We are delighted that the Premier League & The FA Facilties Fund and our partners in the city pitched in to improve these fields. It means a lot to us and a lot to the many players, families and friends.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enable Plymouth County Council to upgrade to improved grass pitches. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.
“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.