Date published: 26/08/2015
Oldham Council welcomed changes at Crossley Playing Fields recently. From left to right in the goal: Angela Longsen, Oldham Council, Neighbourhood Manager - Chadderton; John Gilmore, John Laing, General Manager (Housing); Cllr Colin McLaren, Oldham Council, Ward member for Chadderton Central; Cllr Ateeque Ur-Rehman , Oldham Council, Mayor; Cllr Yasmin Toor, Oldham Council, Mayoress; Lee Folkard, Manchester County Football Association, Deputy Football Development Manager; Mark Higgs, Souters Sports Ltd, Operations Manger; Elizabeth Kershaw, Oldham Council, Principal Regeneration Officer; Glenn Dale, Oldham Council, Group Manager Environmental Services.
Oldham Council marked the official opening of their £501,288 changing room pavilion and real grass pitches at Crossley Playing Fields recently (Saturday 22 August 2015), thanks to a £301,288 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation and provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
The money has enabled the council to fully refurbish all five real grass pitches and improve the changing rooms. Prior to the overhaul, use of the pitches had declined significantly due to inadequate drainage, which meant games were postponed during wet weather. The configuration of the old changing rooms made it unsuitable for use by children or mixed gender groups.
Now though, the pitches have been levelled and re-seeded and new drainage has been installed creating high quality grass playing surfaces. Alterations to the changing rooms have created individual team and referee changing facilities, suitable for men and women of all ages.
The club worked in partnership with the Manchester County FA to secure a £301,288 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
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 has worked with the Manchester County FA to deliver £15m worth of investment into 181 grassroots sports projects worth more than £35m across the whole of the Manchester region.
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.
Councillor Graham Shuttleworth, Chair of Chadderton District Executive, said: “Firstly I’d like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and the other funding bodies for providing the money for, what are now, first class facilities for grassroots sports.
“Amateur sport is an important part of Oldham life and these new and improved pitches and changing rooms are great news for local footballers of all ages. The work has made a vast improvement to the site and the finished playing fields are a credit to the borough and are already attracting more and more people to use them.”
“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 Oldham Council to upgrade Crossley Playing Fields. 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, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This project in Oldham 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.”