Nigel Clough, Manager of Burton Albion FC, and the club’s Chairman, Ben Robinson, were in Burton-on-Trent recently (Tuesday 2 February 2016), to officially open Anglesey Primary Academy’s new £236,093 third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP). The project was made possible thanks to a £140,593 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
The new facilities will be used by pupils and the wider community. The school has links with Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT), who will use the facility during evenings and weekends to deliver its community programme. The new pitch will also be used by local Charter Standard clubs Branston FC and Anglesey Swifts for training and Mini-Soccer fixtures. Prior to this funding, there was a shortage of AGPs within the East Staffordshire area, meaning the pitch at Anglesey is a much needed facility for all.
The development of the site provides further opportunities for pupils, staff and the local community to participate in football. The development also supports the delivery of the Staffordshire FA County Strategy, providing a base for delivering projects and programmes to help increase the number of teams, coaches and volunteers within Burton-on-Trent, supporting the delivery of the FA Youth Review for younger players.
The school worked in partnership with the Staffordshire County FA to secure a £140,593 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Staffordshire County Council also contributed £85,000 to the project while the school paid £10,500.
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 14,000 grants worth more than £546m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £779m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 186 grants worth £15.5m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £30.2m across the whole of Staffordshire.
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.
Ben Robinson, Chairman, Burton Albion FC, said: “It was a great pleasure to see the opening of this fantastic new facility which will be an asset to the community. Burton Albion and BACT are committed to making an impact in the community and I’m sure the BACT staff will help make this new facility a great success with their programmes alongside the school.
“Thanks must go to the Football Foundation for their support and commitment to improving facilities like this through the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.”
Charlotte Hopkins, Head Teacher, Anglesey Primary Academy, said: “We are absolutely delighted with how this facility has transformed our lunchtimes, after school clubs and PE lessons.
“The weather does not stop PE lessons here anymore, ensuring that the children are getting healthier and increasing their skills. We have already seen an increase in the number of children from all different backgrounds taking part in the football lessons we provide.
“We would like to thank Nigel Clough and Ben Robinson for officially opening the facility. Ben grew up in this area – he is a great role model for our children as they can see what he has achieved. We are also very grateful to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and Staffordshire County Council for their extremely generous contribution and support throughout this whole process.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Anglesey Primary Academy to install a new 3G AGP. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.
“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.
“I must also thank Nigel Clough and Ben Robinson for opening the facility. I look forward to seeing Burton Albion Community Trust and Anglesey Primary using the new pitch for matches and training sessions.”