All day use of the Old Trafford Sports Barn is now a reality after Trafford Community Leisure Trust was awarded a grant of £15,270 by Barclays to fund new floodlights at the Barclays Spaces for Sports facility.

The grant has contributed towards the installation of new floodlights, which has helped to overcome problems with poor lighting and therefore allowed for greater evening and winter use of the facility. Additionally, the hard courts have been remarked, which can also be used for netball, and posts and nets installed allowing tennis to be played at the facility. The rest of the funding has been used to train new tennis coaches who have helped establish tennis as a regular sport at the site, with a particular focus on getting more women and girls participating.

Barclays Spaces for Sports is a community sports programme which uses the power of sport to help young people develop the confidence and skills they need, and revitalise disadvantaged communities. As part of this programme, Barclays has partnered with the Football Foundation to develop 200 community facilities across the UK, which cater for a wide range of sports.

The new funding for the centre follows previous grants of £345,000 from Barclays since 2006, and £300,000 from the Football Foundation that were used to build the facility and deliver a range of programmes.

Bernie Jones, Chief Executive at the Trafford Community Leisure Trust, said, “We are delighted to once again receive support from Barclays, who not only funded the Sports Barn in the first place, but have continued to support the Trust operationally since the Sports Barn was opened in 2006. This latest grant has ensured that the quality of lighting meets the standards of the 3G pitch and the introduction of tennis has enabled us to market the facility to even more local people. Old Trafford Sports Barn has had a tremendous impact on the local community over the past eight years and this has only been possible as a result of the generosity of the Barclays Spaces for Sports programme. On behalf of the users of the Sports Barn I would like to thank Barclays and the Football Foundation.”

Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston commented on the new grant, “The Barclays grant will benefit the local community hugely, offering sporting opportunities even in the darker winter months. I am particularly pleased with the focus on trying to increase female participation in tennis as the site already does fantastic work on this in its other programmes.”

Paulette Cohen, Head of Global Programmes, Barclays, said, “We are committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of all Barclays Spaces for Sports sites and the additional funding that Old Trafford Sports Barn has received is a strong example of this. This is one of over 200 UK sites where we work with our partner, the Football Foundation, offering financial and non-financial assistance so they can continue to have a positive impact in the local community.”

Experts at the Football Foundation work closely with each site to identify their needs, and provide practical help such as advice on how to draw up new business and marketing plans and establish new local partnerships.