Date published: 03/11/2014
A new state-of-the-art changing pavilion and real grass pitch improvements were officially opened by former Coventry City FC player, David Busst at Holbrooks Park, Coventry. The project was made possible thanks to a £242,660 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
The grant has enabled Coventry City Council to develop a new changing pavilion compromising: two dual gender changing rooms, two officials’ rooms, a kitchen area, toilets and plant storage. The previous changing facilities at Holbrooks Park were destroyed by a fire in 2004.
In addition to the new changing pavilion, the real grass pitches at Holbrooks Park have undergone extensive drainage and improvement works. In the past, the poor quality of pitches had meant that matches were regularly waterlogged and postponed during the winter months. Now though, thanks to the pitch improvements, local amateur players can look forward to a largely uninterrupted fixture schedule this season.
Coventry City's Sky Blues in the Community trust, of which David Busst is a Director, will use Holbrooks Park to run a weekly Min-Soccer centre and girls’ only half-term programmes. The site will also act as a central venue for the new 9v9 Coventry Minor Football League. Coventry City Council will work with the league to maintain its FA Charter Standard League status, and work with its member clubs to ensure at least 75% of them gain FA Charter Standard Club status over the next five years. Also, the site will become the main hub for FA Coach Education delivery in North Coventry.
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 Football Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £500m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £700m – over £1.2bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 167 grants worth £15m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £41.2m across the whole of Birmingham and the West Midlands.
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.
Cllr Abdul Khan, Cabinet Member for Energy and Environment, Coventry City Council, said: "These excellent and improved football facilities in Holbrooks Park will be well-used by local people and we'd like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their support. The changing rooms are fantastic but the drainage under the pitches that people won't be able to see, is just as valuable as the pitches used to flood all the time - which often meant they couldn't be played on.
"It’s really important that young people get lots of exercise to help keep them fit and well - these new facilities will help make that possible. Holbrooks Park is a great local park and I am sure these improvements will make it even more popular with local people."
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “The Football Foundation is responsible for managing and delivering the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England. This new changing pavilion and improved grass pitches are an example of the positive impact that this funding is having on our grassroots game. First-class facilities like this are crucial to creating more opportunities for local people to enjoy regular sport. Thanks must got to David Busst for taking time out to open the facility.
“Aided by the Birmingham FA, Coventry City Council deserves huge credit for taking a vision and turning it into a reality, using funding provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Sport has the power to make a positive impact on the health of communities and this wonderful new facility will improve the sporting experience of local people and encourage them to be more active.”
For more information contact:
• Jonathan Hunt, Coventry City Council, on 024 7683 2637 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Bradley Cleveland on 0845 345 4555 Ext: 4282 or email@example.com