Ruth George, MP for High Peak, opened a refurbished third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) at Glossopdale School in Derbyshire recently (Saturday 29th September). Their new facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.
The grant enabled Glossopdale School to carry out the required refurbishment works to the existing floodlit 106m x 70m floodlit 3G AGP which had reached the end of its usable life. With the facility operating at near full capacity, the primary focus of the refurbishment was retention of play. In addition to this, as there are no other full-sized 3G AGPs within five miles, the all-weather pitch at Glossopdale School is often in high demand and is relied upon by Glossop North End Juniors, Tintwistle FC and the High Peak Junior Football League.
Glossopdale School were awarded a £134,042 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The school worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Derbyshire FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.
One of the key objectives over the next five years is for significant growth in the number of adults using the site to play football. It is predicted that the formation of five new Over-18 football teams will result in a 100% increase in player participation within this demographic.
Elsewhere, it is expected that the site will retain existing participation levels through regular training sessions, soccer schools and pay and play sessions, with additional weekend match play.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 226 grants worth £9.1m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £17.6m across the whole of Derbyshire FA.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that Glossopdale School has now opened their state-of-the-art facility in Glossopdale, thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
“Continuing to improve access to high-quality facilities like this one is a key aim for the Premier League, The FA and the Government. Delivered by the Football Foundation, their funding supports projects for clubs and organisations all over the country and is helping to boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.
“Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Love for our national game, something that can be found across the country, is an integral part of what drives the Foundation and its Funding Partners to keep increasing the standards and quality of our facilities.”