Date published: 29/10/2014
Former professional referee, Howard Webb MBE, was at Mansfield Hosiery Mills Sports and Social Club recently to officially open the club’s new changing room pavilion. The project was made possible thanks to a £132,315 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. A further £50,000 grant was provided by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
Howard Webb MBE, who refereed both the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League finals in 2010, cut the ribbon at the new facility which is now one of the best multi-sport complexes in Nottinghamshire. The changing pavilion compromises: two changing rooms, two officials’ rooms, spectator toilets, a clubroom, kitchen, medical room and plant storage. The new pavilion will enable Mansfield Hosiery Cricket Club and Mansfield Hosiery Mills Football Club (MHMFC) to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all of its members and visiting teams.
As a result of the investment, MHMFC is planning to increase the number of teams from eight to 13 in the coming years through the addition of two girls' teams, a second men’s senior team and two further junior boys' teams. This will provide a more complete player pathway from youth to senior football and allow girls to get involved in football from an early age.
The club worked in partnership with the Nottinghamshire FA to secure a £132,315 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.The club also received £50,000 grants from the FSIF and Nottinghamshire Legacy Fund respectively.
In addition to funding for the new changing pavilion, Mansfield Hosiery Mills Sports and Social Club also recently received a £17,955 grant from The FA Pitch Improvement Fund. This has allowed the club to purchase the necessary pitch maintenance equipment, including a tractor, to maintain the quality of playing surfaces at the site.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund 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 £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.
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.
Funded with £6m 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.
Howard Webb MBE, commented: “It was a privilege to officially open the new pavilion at Mansfield Hosiery Mills Sport and Social Club. I can clearly see how much hard work members of the club have put in to transforming this pavilion. High quality facilities are simply essential if people are to continue participating regularly in grassroots football. I’ve also been highly impressed by the level of investment provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and look forward to seeing more of their work in the future.”
Russell Booth, MHMFC Chairman, said: “The new changing pavilion is a fantastic facility and is the best in the area. It is a just reward for all of the hard work our committee, players and parents have put in over the last four years which has allowed the club grow from nothing to eight teams. MHMFC are now well on course to achieve FA Charter Standard Community Club status, an ambition of the club since its formation in 2010. The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and FSIF were fundamental in getting this project off the ground and, with other local partners, have been instrumental in developing this new facility and is a great fillip to us and local grassroots sport.
“It was an honour to have Howard Webb MBE officially open our new facility. Securing a high-profile figure from the football world was ideal and it has stimulated further interest in our club and local sport.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said “Improving the standard of changing facilities at the grassroots level is crucial in ensuring the long-term health of our national game. Many people, both young and old, drop out of football due to a lack of clean and comfortable changing rooms. Therefore, I am delighted that the FSIF has been able to help Mansfield Hosiery Mills Sports and Social Club in the development of their new pavilion which will provide a huge boost to grassroots football in Nottinghamshire.”
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 is 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. I’d also like to thank Howard Webb MBE for taking time out of his busy schedule to officially open the new facility.”
“Aided by the Nottinghamshire FA, Mansfield Hosiery Mills Sports and Social Club deserve huge credit for taking a vision and turning it into a reality, using funding provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, Nottinghamshire County Council and other local partners. 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.”
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