BBC Sport presenter Mike Bushell, has today opened a new 3G pitch in Hampshire.
The pitch, based at Testbourne Community School in Whitchurch, is the first of its kind in the local area, with no other all-weather surface within 10 miles.
The project has been made possible by a £474,800 grant from the Football Foundation, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government via Sport England.
With no other all-weather surfaces within 10 miles of the school, Hampshire County FA identified the site as a priority area to provide local youth football clubs with an accessible training facility. Another key factor for Hampshire FA was to provide essential match play opportunities for youth football due to insufficient pitches in the area.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 451 grants worth £12.9m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £28.9m across the whole of Hampshire County FA.
Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England. It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded over 16,000 grants worth more than £655m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of £862m – totalling over £1.5bn of investment into the grassroots game.
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.