Community footballers in Northumberland can now enjoy an enhanced matchday experience after Councillor Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, opened the doors to Ellington Juniors FC’s new changing pavilion today (Friday 22 March 2019).

The new pavilion was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation.

After netting a £99,974 grant from the Football Foundation, work begun on the site in July 2018. The changing pavilion will provide Ellington Juniors FC with their own facilities for the first time since the club was established in 1988, having previously led a nomadic existence.

The new facility comprises of two changing rooms, officials’ changing room, toilets including disabled access, kitchen, office space and a club room. In addition to this, new grass pitches have also been developed at the site.

Ellington Juniors FC worked alongside Northumberland County FA to plan the growth of football provision at the club over the next five years. The new facilities will help the club to realise its ambition of achieving FA Community Club status. There is also a focus to attract more female players and the anticipated growth from three to seven girls’ teams during that time will support this.

Ray Dunn, Chairman of Ellington Juniors FC, said: “As a club we have worked extremely hard for the last few years ensuring that our new facilities are the very best that can be delivered. I am looking forward to seeing the first home game on the pitches and all the local community enjoying this clubhouse that has been lacking in the village. I would like to thank the Football Foundation for their support and funding hat has enabled the development. This is a massive step forward for grassroots football in the area.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The support of the Premier League, The FA and government enables the Football Foundation to help improve community sports facilities like this one across the country. Their funding has played a key role in delivering this new community building in Northumberland and I am delighted for everyone associated with Ellington Juniors.

“This is one example we want to make people in Northumberland aware of, that they have the kind of quality pitches and changing rooms that are taken for granted in other counties. We will continue to support projects nationwide, but we cannot do this on our own, so we are encouraging organisations in the area to join our movement to deliver quality football facilities for people in Northumberland once and for all.

“Taking part in community sport at any level offers many benefits and rewards, not least the opportunity for people to enjoy themselves and socialise with different members of the community.”