Date published: 15/02/2016
Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation, unveiled a plaque at Prairie Sports Village, which now has a state-of-the-art changing pavilion and new 3G AGP.
Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation, officially opened Burnley’s new £2.5m Prairie Sports Village on Friday 12 February 2016. The opening included the unveiling of a plaque by Lord Pendry, with speeches and presentations by representatives from Burnley Leisure and Burnley Council.
More than 100 guests including council and leisure trust staff, local councillors, sporting governing bodies and construction industry representatives attended the event, as well as local golf star, Michael Hunt, Lancashire’s most capped player.
The project was made possible thanks to a £350,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund also contributed £350,000.
Managed by Burnley Leisure, the state-of-the-art complex houses a floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass football pitch (AGP) and a new ten-room changing pavilion.
The site also boasts a 16-bay golf driving range, a bistro, a golf shop and a multi-purpose studio. An on-site golf academy is equipped with the latest technology, allowing players to track their results, enhance the performance and play golf courses from around the world. PGA golf professional James Major is operating a coaching programme from the site.
The council worked in partnership with the Lancashire County FA to secure the£350,000 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 14,000 grants worth more than £546m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £773m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 434 grants worth £19m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £44.5m across the whole of Lancashire.
Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation, said: “I was delighted to officially open the new Prairie Sports Village in Burnley. The new hub is a tremendous improvement on the previous facilities which were in need of repair.
“The changing rooms will serve members of the local community and local clubs for a multitude of sports, providing a safe and comfortable environment to prepare for matches and training.
“These facilities in Burnley are a prime example of the Football Foundation’s commitment to supporting projects like this up and down the country, with investment generously provided by our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England.”
Cllr Bea Foster, Burnley Council’s Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, said: “The opening of the new Prairie Sports Village is an exciting and significant milestone for the borough and we’re very delighted to have Lord Pendry to officially launch it.
“It is really a first-rate facility for the community and for holding major local and regional events and competitions in some sports. Since its opening the Prairie has proved a massive hit attracting more than 35,000 visitors and golfers coming not only from Burnley, but also from surrounding areas including Clitheroe, Pendle, Todmorden and Skipton.”
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 Burnley Borough Council to upgrade Prairie Sports Village. 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.”