Seagulls stars open £670,000 3G pitch at Dorothy Stringer school

Brighton and Hove Albion FC players Connor Goldson and Rohan Ince officially opened Dorothy Stringer School’s new £672,428 third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) recently (Thursday 24 September 2015). The project was made possible thanks to a £399,479 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. The fund provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities and is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The new floodlit 3G pitch will be used extensively by Dorothy Stringer School and its neighbouring primary and secondary schools. The site will also be regularly used by Albion in the Community, the charitable arm of Brighton & Hove Albion FC, as well as local grassroots club Withdean Youth FC.

The new facility comprises Under-13 and Under-14 pitches as well as 9v9, 7v7 and 5v5 football pitches. The grant has also gone towards improved spectator areas, floodlighting and fencing.

The club worked in partnership with the Sussex FA to secure a £399,479 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £530m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £740m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 225 grants worth £10m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £82m across the whole of Sussex.

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.

Rohan Ince, midfielder for Brighton & Hove Albion FC, said: "It was great to attend the opening of this fantastic 3G AGP at Dorothy Stringer School. The facilities here are top-class, and I was privileged to have played on the pitch with pupils at the school and Albion in the Community.  

"I am pleased to see this development so close to my team Brighton & Hove Albion FC. Not only will this 3G pitch serve as a place to train and play matches for the school and local community, but it will create some good-quality home grown talent. Thanks must go to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their generous grant that has made this facility possible."

Richard Bradford, Head Teacher at Dorothy Stringer, said: “We were delighted to receive this grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, this new facility will improve grassroots sport within Brighton & Hove.

"The pitch will provide a much needed sport and recreational outdoor space for our school, the neighbouring schools and local clubs in the community. The grant has allowed us to provide affordable use to local community youth and adult clubs who often cannot afford the rates of privately managed facilities. The provision will further endorse our commitment to healthy schools and encourage more sporting activity, particularly in young people.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Dorothy Stringer School to build this 3G artificial grass pitch. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.

“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports. 

“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in Brighton is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love if it and to stay healthy.”