Grassroots sport in the Black Country is set to benefit from a major cash injection following the news that the University of Wolverhampton has been awarded a grant of £465,047 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
The grant will enable the University to build a new floodlit 106m x 70m third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) to be used by its students, staff, and the local community at its Walsall Campus.
The Football Foundation worked in partnership with the University and both the Birmingham and Staffordshire County FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision for how football will be played on site as a result of the grant.
It is hoped the number of teams playing at the facility will increase from nine to 33 teams, made up of University teams, partner club, Silverdale FC and the Walsall FC Community Programme, who will focus on Girls and Walking football. Clubs from the local community in the Walsall Junior and Adult League will also have access to the 3G AGP.
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.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has supported more than 14,000 grassroots projects worth over £1.3 billion.
Bess Evans, Deputy Director of the University of Wolverhampton’s Institute of Sport, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant through the Premier League & the FA Facilities Fund.
“This new 3G AGP facility will benefit the whole region, and will be massive for the development of grass root sports in the area.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Congratulations should go to the University of Wolverhampton for working with both the Staffordshire FA and Birmingham FA to secure this Premier League & the FA Facilities Fund grant.
“Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded 526 grants worth £40.4m across Staffordshire and Birmingham towards grassroots sports projects worth nearly £92m with money generously provided by our funders: the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England.”
Work on the pitch is expected to start during the summer with a view to it being ready to use from October.
For more information please contact James Allen in the University Media Relations Office on 01902 322003 or Alice Sherritt at the Football Foundation on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Issued: Monday 06 June 2016