Are the facilities that your football club use in need of improvement?
Judging by our investigation into grassroots football facilities last year, we’re guessing that the answer for a lot of you is a resounding yes.
Well, there’s some good news to report on that front from Sport England, but they first need your help to tell you exactly what sort of improvements are required out there on the ground.
Sport England has launched an online consultation on what facility improvements it should offer to sports clubs through their Inspired Facilities fund.
The fund is part of the Places People Play programme, which aims to deliver a legacy of increased participation in sport from the London 2012 Olympics.
The programme aims to bring the 2012 Games to life in local communities across the country, ensuring that a sporting culture and infrastructure is left for future generations to enjoy.
The £135 million initiative has been made possible by the Government’s National Lottery reforms, which are bringing additional funding into grassroots sport.
Sport England aim to get this funding to reach local communities and groups who haven’t previously benefitted from this kind of support. The Inspired Facilities fund is one way they hope to do that, with up to a thousand grants of between £20,000 – £150,000 being made available.
Describing the initiative, the Sport England website says: “We want to design a funding programme which will reach out to as many clubs as possible, offering relatively small capital grants which will create a big impact on the people who play sport there.
“Modernised or extended changing facilities or sports lighting, for example, can make a major difference to small clubs, both in their ability to attract new participants and retain their existing support.”
The online survey will help Sport England “catologue” the sort of facility improvements clubs would make if they had the funds available to them, helping them to “maximise the impact” of the funding and “make applying for grants as easy as possible for clubs”.
Sport England believe the new funding will “lower the barriers to entry for clubs, lessen the burden on those who are running clubs and enable us to reach outside of traditional heartlands, getting to those areas where the need is greatest.”
Last year, Club Website found out the half of the grassroots football community had to put up with sub-standard facilities for their football, before hitting the road to take a look at some of the worst facilites out there on our facilities tour.