Tuesday 30 October 2012
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Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has praised the work of the Premier League Community Facility Fund (PLCFF) after a venue in the city received a funding boost from the new programme.
Pardew joined Magpies stars Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse as well as the club's managing director Derek Llambias in presenting a cheque on behalf of the Premier League for £338,819 which will be used for another round of improvements at the Walker Activity Dome in Newcastle's East End.
Newcastle City Council has already revamped the football centre, which now boasts 10 five-a-side and three seven-a-side pitches as well as a players' lounge and a free-weights area.
"We are very grateful indeed to the Premier League and Football Foundation"
The new investment from the PLCFF will fund further improvements to the main hall, including a new playing surface and lighting as well as accessible changing facilities.
It will also help to fund a football development programme in partnership with the Newcastle United Foundation with the aim of increasing sports participation in the area.
The grant was secured after a bid from the council's Leisure Services and the Newcastle United Foundation.
"This is a tremendous boost for our Foundation and the Walker Activity Dome and we are very grateful indeed to the Premier League and Football Foundation," said Pardew.
"Facilities such as this mean our Foundation can do so much more in the region, and you never know, maybe unearth the Premier League Stars of tomorrow."
The PLCFF was launched by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Premier League Chief Executive and Football Foundation Trustee Richard Scudamore last month.
It is funded by the Premier League, delivered by the Football Foundation, and is investing £18m over three years to develop new or refurbished sports facilities for local people across the country.
The Fund is open to all football club community-led organisations from the Premier League, Football League, and Football Conference, including the Conference North and South Divisions.
"Once again, Newcastle United is placing itself at the heart of their local community"
The new PLCFF-enhanced sites will also help to strengthen links between professional football clubs and their communities, and will become venues for the clubs’ outreach work.
Scudamore said: "The Premier League Community Facility Fund is all about providing sports facilities that reinvigorate local communities. The overall £18m of funding, which is available to 160 clubs across six tiers of English football, is investment that will have a lasting impact.
"The community of Walker is one of the first to benefit from the PLCFF. Once again, Newcastle United is placing itself at the heart of their local community and using football to make a positive social difference."
It is envisaged that the work at the Walker Activity Dome will be completed by January 2013.
Neil Winskill, Football Development Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, added: "We run a whole host of programmes at the Dome, for all ages and abilities, ranging from three-year olds up to adults. It is paramount that we offer first-rate facilities for participants and coaches to develop their skills in the right environment.
"The facilities at Walker are now second to none and I would encourage everyone to come along and get involved."