Date published: 06/03/2014
Ann Coffey MP showed her support for grassroots sport and officially opened a new changing room facility in Stockport on behalf of Burnage Rugby Football Club.
The club were awarded a grant from the Football Foundation towards the refurbishment and extension of their existing changing room facilities, with further funding coming from the Rugby Football Union, Sport England and Veolia Environmental Trust. The new facility boasts the latest technology in renewable energy.
The Club moved to their ground next to the River Mersey in 1977, where it now provides year round natural and artificial turf facilities for football, rugby union, rugby league, cricket, golf, canoeing, korfball and softball. The previous changing rooms were not only unable to cater for this variety of sports, but were communal and so completely unsuitable for women and children to use.
The new extension comprises of two changing rooms, two match official changing facilities and a physiotherapy room. Alongside the newly refurbished clubhouse, this will enable Burnage RFC to host junior, women’s and men’s matches simultaneously, and for the multiple sports that use that site to make full use of their state-of-the-art third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP).
The new facilities utilises some of the most advanced technology in the country for renewable energy. For the central heating and hot water/shower systems, a photovoltaic cell system generates the electricity to power air source heat pumps, which takes in ambient air and (using the reverse process to that of a fridge) increase the temperature – a system that is up to four times more efficient than a traditional electrical heating element.
This is not only fantastic news for the environment, but is purse friendly too. Since its installation, the Burnage RFC has not had to pay anything for hot water. Additionally, the club also get feed in tariffs for 50% of the electricity they generate – even though they use it all themselves.
The club worked in partnership with the Manchester FA to secure a grant of £49,984 from the Football Foundation. Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 12,025 grants worth more than £490m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £651m – over £1bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Across the whole of Manchester, the Foundation has awarded 96 grants worth £13m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £28m.
Speaking at the event, Ann Coffey MP said: “I am extremely impressed by what I have seen today. These facilities will provide so many opportunities for people in our community to participate in sport and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
It is fantastic to see that such large organisations as the Premier League, The FA, and The Government, through the Football Foundation, are recognising the importance of providing such welcomed opportunities at a grassroots level.”
Julian Ross, Chairman at Burnage FC, said: “This is a fantastic addition to our sporting facilities which will benefit a huge number of activities as well as being environmentally friendly. We are very grateful to the Football Foundation, along with the other contributors who made this project possible.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “This is an outstanding new changing room facility, which will benefit football and other sports in and around Stockport. Developing new grassroots facilities, such as this, is essential to increasing the number of people who have a chance to stay fit and healthy through participating in sport.
“The Football Foundation is dedicated to improving sports sites across the country with investment from our funding partners – the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. I congratulate Burnage RFC and the Manchester FA for their hard work on this project.”
For more information about the work the Football Foundation is doing all over the country visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.