Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, and Alan Johnson, President of Copsewood Sports & Social Club (CCSSC), marked the official opening of Copsewood Community Sports & Social Club’s new £661,812 changing pavilion recently (Sunday 6 September 2015), thanks to a £401,812 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, and a £100,000 grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).
The grant has enabled Copsewood Community Sports & Social Club to upgrade their changing facilities, which will be used by Copsewood FC’s senior and junior teams, as well as other users of the multi-sports site. The new facility comprises six new changing rooms, referees’ rooms, a physio room as well as toilet and shower facilities for disabled users.
The club worked in partnership with the Birmingham County FA to secure a £401,812 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. An additional grant of £50,000 of National Lottery funding was awarded by Sport England.
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 13,000 grants worth more than £530m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £740m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 321 grants worth £21.5m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £54.8m across the whole of Birmingham.
Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.
Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, said: “These new facilities at Copsewood Sports & Social Club will have a significant impact on sport in my constituency, and I am delighted to have opened the changing pavilion.
"Thanks must be given to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, as well as the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, for making this fantastic pavilion happen. These funding bodies, alongside Copsewood Sports & Social Club, the Birmingham County FA and Sport England should be extremely proud of the hard work they have put into the project.
“By developing sites like this, the Football Foundation is ensuring that the grass roots game continues to grow at all levels of our national game. I look forward to seeing Copsewood Sports & Social Club go from strength to strength.”
Dave Wilson, Chair of Copsewood Sports & Social Club, said: “The new facility replaces antiquated changing rooms from the 1930s and provides state-of-the-art facilities to our Midland Football League Division One side, Coventry Alliance Premier team and Division 5 squads. The club is home to 21 Charter Standard junior teams, making it the largest junior club in Coventry. This new facility will also be available to all other sports users at the club.
“I would like to thank Sport England, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and the FSIF for their funding as well as the estate of Mr. Dennis Robson, a deceased member who left the club a legacy in his will. The combination of the grant and legacy enabled the project to be funded to realise a significant community sports facility. Finally, I would like to thank Jim Cunningham MP and Mr. Alan Johnson, Club President and member for over 65 years, for officially opening the facility”.
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “This new facility at Copsewood Community Sports & Social Club demonstrates the Premier League’s commitment to supporting clubs at all levels of the National League System.
“The facility will be enjoyed by the Coventry Copsewood FC’s first team as well as several of their junior teams, and I am delighted that funding from the Premier League through the FSIF has made this possible. I wish them all the very best for their upcoming campaign.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Copsewood Community Sports & Social Club to upgrade its changing room facilities. 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.
“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in Coventry is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love if it and to stay healthy.”
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