The Douglas Eyre Sports Centre, in Walthamstow, is open again having been revitalised by a £200,000 refurbishment, £100,000 of which was awarded by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.      

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation uses the site for its Foundation Degree programme, Soccer School and Premier League Kicks scheme and made the opening event extra special by staging a coaching session with its degree students.

The re-modelled facility, which has been a hub of local grassroots football activity for several decades, now includes: 14 self-contained team changing rooms; two officials’ changing rooms; a meeting room and a kitchen and bar.The upgraded provisions mean that the centre can continue to act as an education centre for the London FA and PFA and a venue for a wide range of local football teams to hire.

Additionally, the revamped site will provide a home for the Leyton Orient Advanced Soccer School, who are the only club in Waltham Forest to have achieved Charter Standard Community status.

The London Playing Fields Foundation, who own the site, worked in partnership with the London FA to secure a £100,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.

An additional £50,000 came from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund. To date the fund has helped more than 1,600 local sports projects across the country. Another £50,000 was given in the form of a Biffa Award, a scheme that funds projects within a certain distance of an active Biffa (waste management and recycling) operation.

Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 12,000 grants worth more than £490m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £651m – over £1bn of investment into the grassroots game. Since 2000 the Football Foundation funding partners’ investment has provided 134 grants worth £22m towards grassroots sports projects worth £52m across the whole of London.

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.