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Sir Alex Ferguson opens Altrincham FC's new community sports hall

Sir Alex Ferguson opens Altrincham FC’s new community sports hall

Date published: 10/02/2015
Sir Alex Ferguson at Altrincham

Sir Alex Ferguson CBE, one of football’s greatest ever managers, was at Altrincham FC recently to officially open the club’s new £752,000 state-of-the-art community sports hall. The project was made possible thanks to a £269,470 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. Additionally, £114,880 came from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country. 

Sir Alex, who won 38 major trophies during his 26-year tenure at Manchester United, cut the ribbon at the new facility, which is adjacent to the first-team pitch and includes a hospitality area, kitchen facilities, office space, spectator toilets and plant storage. 

Altrincham FC in the Community will utilise the new hall to deliver multi-sport coaching sessions, holiday schemes, B-Tech programmes and diversionary activities for local youngsters. The hall will be used as a hospitality area by Altrincham FC, who play in the Vanarama Conference, on match days, allowing the club to generate much-needed extra revenue, which it can re-invest into the club and local community. 

Additionally, the grant from the FSIF has enabled the club to convert an old bar area, located underneath the main stand, into a physiotherapy suite and officials’ changing room. The team changing rooms have also been refurbished, spectator standing areas improved and car park resurfaced with the FSIF’s grant.

The club worked in partnership with the Cheshire FA to secure a £269,470 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 £513m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £730m – over £1.2bn of investment into the grassroots game. 

Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 171 grants worth £9.3m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £18.8m across the whole of Cheshire. 

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. 

The FSIF, the Football Foundation’s sister organisation, offers financial support towards ground improvement projects for football clubs at the lower levels of the game, with money provided by the Premier League. 

Sir Alex Ferguson CBE, said: “This new community sports hall at Altrincham FC is going to be an invaluable resource for the club and community for years to come. It will provide opportunities for children and adults to get involved in sport regardless of the weather. The hall also doubles to cater for match day hospitality, which will act as a springboard for the club to grow commercially. 

“The money to make all this possible has come from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation and funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England. That is a strong and important partnership as every footballer ultimately starts out at the grassroots. 

“This sort of project is the perfect example of how the Football Foundation is working with its Funders to provide football clubs with facilities that get more people playing sport, support football clubs’ excellent community outreach work and create talent pathways through which promising youngsters can progress.” 

Grahame Rowley, Chairman of Altrincham FC, said: “On behalf of the Club and our Community Sports Charity, I would like to thank Sir Alex Ferguson CBE for officially opening the new Community Sports Hall. I would also like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, the FSIF, and Viridor who have all provided substantial financial support. We would also like to acknowledge the wonderful response to our various fundraising activities from our supporters and from the local community in general. 

“The Community Sports Hall will be a major benefit in our efforts to support local grassroots sport and community activities. We already have bookings for six different sports and we will hope to welcome people of all ages, race, religion, and gender to the facility.” 

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, added: “This is a highly impressive project and I’m pleased that the FSIF has been able to offer support. These extensive works will have a hugely beneficial impact for all supporters, players and club officials and hopefully allow Altrincham to challenge for promotion to the Football League.” 

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 community sports hall 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 Sir Alex Ferguson for taking time out to officially open the new facility.” 

“Aided by the Cheshire FA, Altrincham FC 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.”

ENDS

For more information contact:

- Grahame Rowley on 07720 606 897 or e-mail altrinchamprog@yahoo.co.uk

-  Bradley Cleveland on 0845 345 4555 Ext: 4282 or bradley.cleveland@footballfoundation.org.uk

Sir Alex with opening ceremony plaque at the Foundation.
Sir Alex Ferguson speaking at Altrincham FC opening
Sir Alex Ferguson spoke about the importance of investment at grassroots level during the opening ceremony.
The new hall at Altrincham FC
The new community sports hall prior to Sir Alex's Ferguson visit.
SAF outside Altrincham FC community sports hall
Sir Alex Ferguson joins Altrincham FC officials and young participants on the club's first-team pitch.

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“This sort of project is the perfect example of how the Football Foundation is working with its Funders to provide football clubs with facilities that get more people playing sport, support football clubs’ excellent community outreach work and create talent pathways through which promising youngsters can progress.”


Sir Alex Ferguson 

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