Date published: 30/09/2013
Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP has officially opened the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Sports Club’s stunning new changing room pavilion in his Twickenham constituency.
The state-of-the-art sports pavilion, which was built at a cost of £481,468, replaces an old building so run-down that visiting teams avoided using it, and junior footballers were forced either to change in the toilets, under the supervision of their parents, or go home unchanged.
Now, though, the site boasts four players changing rooms, plus two changing rooms for match officials and one fully accessible changing room for disabled participants – all complete with showers and toilet facilities, under-floor heating, and served by a medical room and generous locker space.
This means that sports enthusiasts of all ages across the local community will benefit, with a particular onus on reversing the decline in senior membership, and encouraging the growth of football.
Working in partnership with the Middlesex County FA, NPL Sports Club worked tirelessly to secure a £311,468 grant 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 9,500 grants worth more than £410m towards grassroots, and it has awarded 100 grants worth more than £14m across Middlesex alone.
Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable, MP for Twickenham and Secretary of State for Business, said: “Simply, this is an absolutely outstanding facility. From a grassroots sports point of view, I saw today the quality of this site and how it will benefit local sports men and women of all ages. I am delighted to have such an outstanding sporting venue in my constituency.
“The construction industry is absolutely vital to our country’s economy, so the Foundation’s continued investment, through money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, into grassroots building projects, just like this one, is absolutely crucial. That is before you consider the benefits to an area in terms of regeneration, or the burden that can be removed from the NHS by giving people the chance to stay fit and healthy through participating in sport.”
The Teddington site not only represents a fantastic investment in grassroots sport in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, but also in delivering significant benefits to the wider UK economy.
Independent analysis demonstrated that the Football Foundation, funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England), generates £15.46 for the UK economy from every £1 that the Government provides it to invest in facilities just like the NPL Sports Club. That, in addition to creating employment opportunities during the facility’s construction stage, and when the site is open in the form of staff to run the complex.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Twickenham is now home to a wonderful new sports hub, which the local community will benefit hugely from. The NPL Sports Club and the Middlesex FA should be congratulated on their hard work to make this project a reality. I would like to thank Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP for officially opening the facility and giving it a suitably fitting launch.
“Since 2000 the Foundation has been responsible for nearly £1 billion worth of investment in grassroots sports facilities. That commitment is providing much-needed employment to local contractors – several were involved in this project, for example – and for local people in the form of jobs once a facility has been built.
Peter Taylor, Head of Fund-raising for NPLSC, added: “The generosity of the grant from the Football Foundation not only secured the support of The Royal Parks Agency to licence the project, but also provided the necessary leadership, in association with Sport England, for The London Marathon Charitable Trust and Hampton Fuel Allotment Charity to pledge the essential remaining funds, with a further £20,000 coming from NPLSC members themselves.”
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.
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