The Pingle Academy has been awarded a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, to help upgrade their existing third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP).
The grant will enable The Pingle Academy to replace their all-weather pitch, which was originally installed in 2005, with a brand new surface. The existing facility was installed thanks to a previous grant of £232,535 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and has now reached the end of its operational life due to its local popularity and heavy usage.
The project will include not only replacing the playing surface but also installing a new drainage system, refurbishing the floodlights to bring them in line with new requirements and replacing boundary fencing. The resultant state-of-the-art facility will join the school’s full-size grass pitch, 9v9 grass pitch and full-size rugby pitch.
The Pingle Academy’s upgraded 3G AGP will benefit not only its students, but also partner organisations: Newhall FC; Woodville FC, and Burton Junior Football League. Thanks to the pitch becoming a central venue for the League, it is expected that 25 new teams will use the site. A 225% rise in FA-affiliated football taking place at the facility is predicted as a result.
The Academy worked with the Football Foundation, Derbyshire County FA and South Derbyshire District Council to secure a grant of £239,934 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project.
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.
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 over 17,000 grants worth more than £615m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of £817m – over £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Vivien Sharples, Principal at The Pingle Academy, said: “We are delighted that funding has been secured from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund to refurbish the existing 3G AGP here at Pingle. The pitch is so well used during the Academy day and after school by our students and then by the local community in the evenings and at weekends.
“We are pleased to be able to provide the most up-to-date facility possible and the time was right to upgrade our pitch. The facility is crucial to the physical and mental wellbeing of many people in our local area. It is hard to believe that the pitch was opened over ten years ago and we look forward to the new, improved facility.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Since 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded 224 grants worth £9.1m across Derbyshire towards grassroots sports projects worth £17.6m and it is great to hear that The Pingle Academy will be the latest beneficiary.
“Funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Foundation, will support the Academy in developing a brand new 3G AGP for the school and local community. Made possible by investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, the Fund is supporting the grassroots game by improving access to high-quality football facilities across the country.”