Date published: 05/08/2014
On Sunday, £173,405 worth of real grass pitch improvements were officially unveiled at Holmebrook Valley Park in Chesterfield, thanks to a £90,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
The grant has enabled Chesterfield Borough Council to extensively renovate pitches at the Holmebrook Valley site by improving drainage systems, levelling and re-seeding pitches. Since the site was opened in 1995, the quality of playing surfaces there have declined significantly, with waterlogging and ground subsidence making the facility unusable for large parts of the winter. This meant that local clubs were often forced to play elsewhere, placing pressure on other local sites.
Now though, thanks to the pitch improvements, Holmebrook Valley Park will be available for use all-year round by the local community. The upgraded site boasts five adult pitches, three Mini-Soccer pitches and two junior pitches. The improvements will see the number of teams regularly using the site rise from 12 to 27.
The facility, which was opened by Councillor Amanda Sergeant with the mayor of Chesterfield, Councillor Alexis Diouf also present on the day, already possesses excellent changing room facilities, along with a community room, café and extensive parking and it is hoped that the site will now be used to its full potential and provide a focus for community sport across the whole of Chesterfield.
The club worked in partnership with the Derbyshire FA to secure a £90,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
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 12,000 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.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation funding partners’ investment has provided 95 grants worth £8.1m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £16.1m across the whole of Derbyshire.
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 Chris Ludlow, Executive Member for Environment, said: “At Chesterfield Borough Council, we have a good record of providing pitches and sporting facilities for residents. Thanks to funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, we are able to improve the facilities on offer at Holmebrook Valley Park, which will hopefully allow more of our residents to take part in grassroots sport.”
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. Holmebrook Valley Park 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.
“Aided by the Derbyshire FA, Chesterfield Borough Council deserves huge credit for taking a vision and turning it into a reality, using funding provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. 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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