Key stakeholders of Fordingbridge School 3G pitch project, Harry Redknapp, and big cheque at the opening of the new 3G pitch.

New Burgate School 3G pitch opened by Harry Redknapp

£601,255 grant from the Football Foundation aids new 3G pitch for the local community in Fordingbridge.

After 6 years of planning, the new Burgate School and Sixth Form 3G pitch welcomed local hero Harry Redknapp to formally open the facility on Friday 26th of April.

A grant of £601,255 from the Football Foundation made the project possible, with additional funding from New Forest District Council, Fordingbridge Turks FC, The Burgate School and Sixth Form and Fordingbridge Rugby.

AFC Bournemouth’s teams under Redknapp’s management used the Fordingbridge Recreation Ground between 1983 and 1992 as a training pitch, when their training ground was unavailable – Redknapp recalls fond memories of the area.

Some 40 years later, the new 3G pitch will play a pivotal role in offering an all-weather facility for children and adults in the New Forest area. Hampshire FA’s Facilities & Investment Manager, Sacha Nicholas said: ”It’s great to finally open the doors to a project which we’ve been working on for six years. As a County FA, a large part of our role is to ensure that safe and adequate playing facilities are available to everybody in every part of our county.  This project was driven by the needs of the local community at Fordingbridge and we have worked very closely with Fordingbridge Turks and other local key stakeholders to provide a fit for purpose facility that will drive the participation within the club and secure their long term future.”

Fordingbridge School pitch before new 3G pitch build
Fordingbridge school pitch before new 3G pitch grant.

 Fordingbridge Turks FC youth team with Harry Redknapp, and a big cheque
Fordingbridge Turks FC with Harry Redknapp and Hampshire FA's big cheque at the facility opening event.


Schools, clubs and other sports providers are able to apply for grants of £25,000 or more for similar improvements to sports facilities. Our Facilities & Investment team are able to support with grant applications through facilities workshops around the county.

The next Community Engagement Workshop is scheduled for Wednesday 22nd of May at New Forest District Council, between 10:30am and 12pm.

The workshop will cover:

  • Overview of the application process for grants, new guidelines about multi-sport usage, and the importance of offering opportunities for all pathways (male, disability, women & girls, recreational etc).
  • Introduction to the principles of community engagement, what is it, why it’s important, and its impact on sports.
  • Practical workshop 1 – community mapping of your club, school, or sport facility
  • Examples of effective community engagement work within Hampshire (Active Through Football, Walking Football Programme, Chapel Gate application, and more).
  • Practical workshop 2 – creating an effective community engagement strategy.
  • Next steps – what the community engagement application looks like, and the support that we can offer.

To attend, please follow the link below.