Greg Dyke has hailed a “major breakthrough” for football facilities in England, with the opening of the FA’s pilot football hubs now less than six months away.
The FA Chairman was in Sheffield this month to visit one of the hubs set to be opened in the city in April, backed by £6.8m of funding from the FA, Sport England and Sheffield City Council.
If the pilot schemes prove a success, the FA plans to build 150 football hubs across 30 English cities by 2020 as part of the project that has been christened ‘Parklife’.
The £230m scheme, a result of the FA Chairman’s England Commission, aims to revolutionise grassroots football facilities through the provision of 3G pitches, whilst improving coaching standards for young players.
“This is a major breakthrough in the provision of grassroots football facilities,” said Dyke.
“We need to make football facilities more accessible, more of the time while addressing the desperate need to reduce the reliance on local authority subsidies.
“The model we have developed serves to do precisely that with the creation of significantly more all-weather 3G artificial grass pitches using a sustainable model of investment, ownership and management.”
The Thorncliffe site visited by Dyke, one of two Sheffield hubs scheduled to open in April, will be home to two new full size 3G football pitches, two fully drained 11v11 grass pitches with extensive changing room, coach education and social facilities.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch added: “Better football facilities are crucial if we are to strengthen the sport at the grassroots and that is exactly why the government is backing Parklife with investment.
“It is my mission to get more people involved in sport for all the benefits that it can bring. With projects like Parklife I believe we’ve got real potential to succeed.”