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York City legend Andy MacMillan unveils upgraded football hub for Haxby Town Council

York City legend Andy MacMillan unveils upgraded football hub for Haxby Town Council

Date published: 12/09/2017
Andy MacMillan unveils upgraded football hub for Haxby Town Council in North Yorkshire
Former York City FC player, Andy MacMillan (far left), had the honour of unveiling the improved football hub in Haxby. The club's Child Welfare Officer, Andy Metcalf (second from left), Secretary of Juniors Neil Thorbinson (third from left) and Secretary of Seniors Paul Wishart (centre), along with Haxby JFC youngsters, are delighted with their facility.

Former York City FC player Andy MacMillan officially unveiled the upgrades made to Haxby Town Council’s Ethel Ward football hub in North Yorkshire recently (Saturday 9 September). The project was made possible by a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant enabled the Council to carry out vital surface improvement works at the site, which comprises: two full-size pitches; three Mini-Soccer pitches and 7v7 game provision. The funding also helped to upgrade the existing sports pavilion at the hub, improving the facility’s changing rooms. 

The upgrade project will benefit Haxby Town Council’s partner clubs, Haxby Town FC and Haxby JFC (HJFC), who use the site. Previously, both clubs had to carefully manage their matches and fixtures to avoid overuse of the full-size grass pitches – to avoid any further damage to the surface. HJFC and Haxby Town now have far greater flexibility when it comes to scheduling activity at the hub. 

The council worked alongside the North Riding FA and the Football Foundation to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation. 

HJFC, which can count West Ham United FC defender Sam Byram amongst its former players, will establish new teams thanks to the improved facility. This will take their total from 19 to 29, and will include two brand new girls’ sides. Four new teams for players aged over 14 are also planned, increasing the provision to eight teams in total. As a result, football participation for the 14-25 age group will rise by 114%. The club will also introduce two new girls’ sides. 

The club worked in partnership with the North Riding FA to secure a £28,710 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. 

Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England. It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth more than £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £800m – £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game. 

Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 226 grants worth £8.9m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £17.7m across the whole of North Riding

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. 

Mark Preston, Chairman of  Haxby Seniors FC and Project Manager on behalf of Haxby Town Council,  said: “We began this project when we realised the pitches were struggling to cope with the increasing numbers in junior football. To help retain players, we needed to upgrade our facilities. Without the fantastic support, initially from Steve Wade from North Riding FA, Phil Woodward from The FA and Haxby Town Council, then from the Football Foundation, this would not have been possible. Thanks also to everyone concerned in the building works, and to Andy MacMillan for officially opening the facility. I am sure all players, young, new, old and future, will enjoy playing here so much more.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides the investment necessary to improve grassroots football facilities. So, I am delighted to see Haxby Town Council join thousands of local clubs and organisations who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of an upgraded sports hub. 

“Having delivered over £1.4bn of grassroots sports infrastructure projects, the Football Foundation has developed a network of accessible, first-class facilities in areas they will have the greatest impact – thanks to money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England. 

“These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who also use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.” 

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
- Mark Preston on 07402 903 062 or at mppreston10@gmail.com
- Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk


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"To help retain players, we needed to upgrade our facilities. Without the fantastic support, initially from Steve Wade from North Riding FA, Phil Woodward from The FA and Haxby Town Council, then from the Football Foundation, this would not have been possible."- Mark Preston, Chairman of  Haxby Seniors FC and Project Manager on behalf of Haxby Town Council

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