Mayor of Greater Manchester unveils sports pavilion for Dean Trust Ardwick

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, officially opened a state-of-the-art new sports pavilion for Dean Trust Ardwick today (Wednesday 24 January). The project was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. The Mayor was joined by special guest Denis Irwin, former Manchester United FC defender. 

The grant enabled Dean Trust Ardwick to install the new sports pavilion, alongside their existing sports facilities. The school, which opened its doors in September 2016 following a joint project between The Dean Trust and Manchester City Council, boasts a number of other sporting facilities including a floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP).

The new sports pavilion, situated near the school’s 3G AGP, will be available to its 1,200 pupils. Other users will include: Radcliffe FC, a Step 4 club that plays in the Northern Premier League Division One; Progressive Sports Football Coaching, and Manchester Marvels Volleyball. 

All users will benefit from the facility, which comprises: two large changing rooms that can be converted into four smaller changing areas; two officials’ changing rooms; a multi-function room; an office and reception; a kitchen; spectator toilets and an accessible changing area. The addition of the pavilion means that the school’s other sports facilities can now be used outside of school hours.

The site already plays host to a number of users and programmes, including Manchester United Foundation. Manchester United Foundation, which has a permanent Community Development Officer based at the school, will use the sports facilities to deliver a number of community outreach programmes. This will include Street Reds sessions, which aim to give young people new opportunities through football. 

In addition, the Manchester FA will use the school as a coach education centre. This is supported by the facilities the new pavilion offers, such as the multi-function room which can be used for classroom-based activities. The County FA will also work alongside Manchester United Foundation and the NHS initiative, Cup of Sugar, to deliver walking football sessions onsite. This will help to improve the provision of football for older members of the community. 

The school worked alongside the Manchester 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. 

Improving sports participation is a vital objective for the school and the addition of its new changing facilities will help this. The school has linked with the Ardwick Football Consortium, which hopes to create a new club with teams at every age group. They will be supported in this endeavour by having access to Dean Trust Ardwick’s changing pavilion.

With the Manchester United Academy already using the site for training intermittently, alongside the Manchester FA’s plans for a new 9v9 league, participation will continue to improve. Also, thanks to support from Manchester United Foundation coaches, extra-curricular activities delivered for girls are gaining in popularity – helping to boost female football participation.

The school worked in partnership with the Manchester FA to secure a £676,098 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 230 grants worth £15.3m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £32.1m across the whole of Manchester. 

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. 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “It’s an honour to officially open Dean Trust Ardwick’s new sports pavilion, and I’d like to thank them for inviting me to do so. Grassroots sport is so important to our area, and can have a particularly positive impact on young people. The school’s new sports pavilion, and their other excellent facilities, will be of real benefit to its students and all other users. 

“It is vital to keep money flowing into grassroots sport, enabling us to keep improving people’s lives by getting them active and providing such a great social outlet. The Football Foundation, with funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, is at the forefront of this mission. They are working hard to build new facilities, improve existing ones and encourage more people to get involved in sport as a result.” 

Denis Irwin, who counts seven Premier League and three FA Cup titles amongst the accolades gained from 12 years with Manchester United FC, said: “I’m so pleased to see children already using the new sports pavilion at Dean Trust Ardwick, and I’d like to thank the school for inviting me along to the unveiling. It’s great to see yet another example of how the Manchester United Foundation are helping to create better opportunities for the local area, through supporting grassroots football. 

“Thanks to my time as a professional footballer, I can understand how important it is to have access to great facilities when you’re just starting out. This sports pavilion wouldn’t have been possible without investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and I’d like to congratulate the school on securing this.”

Steven Worthington, Deputy Headteacher of Dean Trust Ardwick, said: “The Dean Trust are very grateful to Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester for offering his time to officially open the Dean Trust Ardwick Sports Pavilion. The ‘power of football’ will be used as an inspiration and a force for good in Ardwick and will significantly increase participation from a very low starting point. As keen supporters of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, both The Dean Trust and Andy are fully aware of how the new facility will improve grassroots sport both for the pupils and the local community.” 

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 Dean Trust Ardwick join thousands of local clubs and organisations who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of their new sports pavilion. My thanks go to the Andy Burnham for officially unveiling it.   

“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.”