Date published: 24/08/2016
From left to right: Karly Williams, Area Manager, Barrett Homes; Darren Sarll, Manager, Stevenage FC and Tony Eden, Chairman, Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC, opened the new facility at Pixmore Playing Fields.
Darren Sarll, Manager of Stevenage FC, officially unveiled Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC’s new state-of-the-art £124,875 clubhouse development in Hertfordshire recently (Sunday 21 August 2016), thanks to a £58,175 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities. The Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), also contributed £20,000 towards the facility.
The grant has enabled Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC, where Arsenal FC star Jack Wilshere played as a youngster, to extend their existing site to include a large clubhouse lounge. The site also acts as a host venue for the Great Britain Deaf Football Team.
Through this development, the club has worked in partnership with the Football Foundation and Hertfordshire FA to develop a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP) – a long-term vision for how football will be played on-site. The FDP is projected to increase participation among the club’s mens’, womens’ and junior teams, with the club’s youth sides (aged 6-18) boasting nearly 500 registered members at the end of the 2015/16 season.
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 £560m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £780m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 221 grants worth over £14m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £26m across the whole of Hertfordshire.
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.
Darren Sarll, Manager of Stevenage FC, said: “It was a pleasure to officially unveil Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC’s new facility. The new lounge will make for a fantastic communal area, which will be beneficial not only to the club, but to the community as a whole.
“Without the support of the Premier League through the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, projects like this one at Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC would not be able to take place. It is vital that facilities are fit for purpose to further develop grassroots football and I am happy to see the developments complete. I wish the club all the best for the future."
Tony Eden, Chairman of Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC, said: “I would like to thank Darren Sarll for formally opening the new lounge facility, and the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund’s financial contribution, without which the project would not have happened.
“Thank you to all those who have worked on the project and contributed to its funding – I am confident that the new facility will greatly benefit grassroots football both in terms of generating income but also encouraging more young players to want to play football and families to participate in supporting the club.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “The extension of the changing pavilion at Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC is a massive boost for the club with the season just getting underway.
“The developments will serve to improve spectator experience and act as a further demonstration of the Premier League’s continued commitment to developing grassroots sport across all levels of the football pyramid.”
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 Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC to build a new clubhouse. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area and a special thanks must go to Darren Sarll for opening the new facility.
“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.
“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in Letchworth is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love of it and to stay healthy.”
For more information, please contact:
- Tony Eden at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01462 672 075
- Michael Boniface at email@example.com or on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292