Thursday 10 October 2013

Robertson hails Football Foundation work

Government minister praises Football Foundation at opening of new Premier-League funded facility

  • Hugh Robertson MP (left) opens the new sports changing facility at Wyberton Playing Fields

  • A shot of the new site at Wyberton, which is a marked improvement on...

  • ... what came before

Government Minister Hugh Robertson was in Lincolnshire last week to officially open the new changing facility at Wyberton Playing Fields built with help from the Football Foundation.

"These projects, where the Football Foundation, with funding from the Government, Premier League and FA, are making a real difference"
Hugh Robertson

The £333,754 project is a substantial investment in grassroots sport in the area and was made possible thanks to a grant of £186,594 from the Football Foundation, the country's largest sports charity. The Foundation funds the improvement of community sports facilities with money provided by the Premier League, The Football Association and the government via Sport England. With £12m of funding, the Foundation is the largest single charitable donation the Premier League makes each year.

The previous facilities at Wyberton Playing Fields were 40 years old, and despite the efforts of volunteers to maintain them, were in a poor condition. They failed to meet modern standards for the safeguarding of children and disabled accessibility, and in some instances could be classed as a safety hazard.

The new facilities boast four changing rooms, two officials' rooms and a social area  that will cater for users of all ages, genders, abilities and needs. Seventeen football teams will benefit, from under-5s to adults, both male and female, including Wyberton FC, an FA Charter Standard Community Club whose ambitions to grow were hampered by the poor state of the previous facilities. Thanks to Foundation funding, the club hope to increase the number of teams they operate to 28 within five years.

'Benefitting the Community'

At the opening, Robertson, speaking on one of his final engagements as Minister for Sport before moving to the Foreign Office, said: "These new changing facilities in Wyberton will benefit the community for years to come and boost grassroots sport in the area.

"In Lincolnshire £9m worth of Foundation grants have been given to 100 projects"
Hugh Robertson

"It is projects like this, where the Football Foundation, with funding from the Government, Premier League and the FA, is making a real difference. In Lincolnshire alone £9m worth of Foundation grants have been given to 100 projects as part of a drive to improve thousands of facilities right across the country."

The Foundation funding was awarded to Wyberton Playing Field Association (WPFA), who worked in partnership with the Lincolnshire County FA to secure £186,000 of funding.

Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 9,500 grants worth more than £410m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £560m.

"This is an outstanding new community facility, which will benefit football and other sports in and around Wyberton," Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said. "Developing new grassroots facilities, such as this, is essential to increasing the number of people who have a chance to stay fit and healthy through participating in sport.

For more information about the work the Football Foundation is doing all over the country visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.

Share this page

Key Points

  • Government Minister Hugh Robertson opens new changing facility at Wyberton Playing Fields in Lincolnshire
  • MP praises Football Foundation projects and funding by Premier League
  • With £12m of funding, the Football Foundation is the largest single charitable donation the Premier League makes each year