2 Sep 2020
Cllr. Christine Hamilton, Mayor of Enfield, was joined by Cllr. Daniel Anderson, Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, and Cllr. Ayfer Orhan, Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection, to officially open a new all-weather pitch at Enfield Playing Fields yesterday (Monday 20 November). The pitch was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.
The grant has enabled Enfield Council to replace one of their 16 existing full-size grass pitches with a state-of-the-art floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP). This joins: the 15 other full-size grass pitches; six youth pitches; four 9v9 pitches; four 7v7 pitches and five rugby pitches.
The 3G AGP will be used by the Council’s partner club, Enfield Town FC, as well as local schools and other grassroots football clubs in the area. Additionally, many local league fixtures will be transferred to the new pitch to provide a reliable surface all-year-round.
The Council and its partner club, which already has an adult male team in the Pan Disability League, will work together to deliver a range of football development activities with women’s, youth and disability football improvement being key objectives.
Enfield Council worked alongside the Middlesex County 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.
Thanks to the greater flexibility of the all-weather pitch, it is expected that football participation in those under the age of 14 will increase by 63% across the site. Enfield Town FC expects to introduce 11 new teams, taking its total from 20 to 31. Of this, four will be girls’ sides, helping to improve the provision for female football locally.
The club worked in partnership with the Middlesex County FA to secure a £522,007 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 231 grants worth £18.4m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £69.4m across the whole of Middlesex.
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.
Cllr. Daniel Anderson, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The Mayor of Enfield and I are thrilled to officially open the new 3G pitch at Enfield Playing Fields with the help of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. We would like to give our thanks to all involved in bringing this first-class facility to Enfield. Our aim is to encourage those of all abilities to actively participate in sport. We would like to foster grassroots football in the borough, improve skills levels across the board and help the local community benefit from this outstanding new pitch. I look forward to kick-off!”
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 Enfield Council join thousands of local clubs and organisations who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of a new 3G AGP.
“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.”
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