Date published: 15/07/2014
Wright Robinson College, Manchester, is now home to a new state-of-the-art £439,695 third-generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP). It was made possible thanks to a £298,700 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides financial support towards developing new or refurbished football facilities at grassroots level.
This new pitch will facilitate the growth of the East Manchester Junior League from 150 to 270 teams in the next three years, establish a new ten team division of the ‘City Central League’ to address the drop off in the numbers playing 11-a-side football after turning 16, and cater for a comprehensive Coach Education programme. The pitch will also host a number of Football Association initiatives, such as ‘FA Skills Centres’, ‘Vauxhall Mash Up’ and ‘Just Play’ centres.
Additionally, the pitch will support PE provision at Wright Robinson College, which was invited to be a partner in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, owing to their impressive sporting provisions including a 25m swimming pool, two 3G AGP’s, two sports hall, fitness suite, dance studio, free weights room and several tennis courts and real grass football pitches.
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 – totalling over £1bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation funding partners’ investment has provided 110 grants worth almost £14m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £16m across the whole of Manchester.
By providing better facilities and specialised coaching the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience of grassroots football for both regular players and new ones. Many 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.
Neville Beischer, Headteacher, said: “The new 3G AGP will become a tremendous asset to the College and the local community that it serves. Through our extensive network of partners new opportunities will be generated for local people to participate in sport in a safe environment with top class facilities.”
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 outstanding refurbished 3G AGP 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 Manchester FA, Wright Robinson Sports College deserves huge credit for taking a vision and turning it into a reality, using this 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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